Tilted Transmission Tower Caused By Pan Borneo Highway Construction Works

Sarawak Energy Carries out Emergency Works to Ensure Safety & Minimise Risk of Outage to Parts of Miri City

KUCHING, 9TH SEPTEMBER 2018, SUNDAY:  Sarawak Energy is taking all necessary measures to secure and stabilise a slanted 132kV Tudan-Miri Airport transmission tower located along Miri Bypass road, caused by Pan Borneo Construction works.

Sarawak Energy’s Transmission team discovered the slanted tower during their routine inspection patrols last Friday and Pan Borneo contractor was instructed to cease works near the tower immediately.

Preliminary assessment indicates that the failure to the existing tower foundation was due to excessive earth stockpile materials placed near to the tower.  It is suspected that the pile supporting the tower’s foundation was damaged, compromising the integrity of the supporting system, leading the tower to tilt.

Sarawak Energy, along with Lebuhraya Borneo Utara Sdn Bhd (LBU), immediately engaged surveyors to further evaluate the condition of the tower’s foundation and its surrounding ground conditions.  

At the same time, Sarawak Energy’s technical teams were mobilised to site to install temporary stabilising stay wires to secure the tower from tilting further.

The works which commenced yesterday was completed today with eight stay wires installed to stabilise and secure the tower.  

Tudan-Miri Airport Transmission Lines an Injection Point to Southern Part of Miri

The Tudan-Miri Airport transmission lines is the main supply injection point to the southern part of Miri, supplying Miri airport, Lambir, Luak, Taman Tunku and Miri hospital.  Any tripping to the lines will cause interruption of power supply to the areas.

 “We are thankful that the urgent works to secure the tower went safely and smoothly without any untoward incident.  As a permanent solution, Sarawak Energy will have to construct a new tower foundation and erect a new tower, not taking the risk of recurrence,” said Sarawak Energy Group Chief Operating Officer, Lu Yew Hung 卢友云.

“For the installation of new tower, we will have to shut down the Tudan-Miri Airport lines for three weeks. During the shutdown, the load for Southern part of Miri will be transferred to Marudi Junction injection point.  There will be a risk of no contingency for supply injection point to the southern part of Miri should there be any fault to the system.

 “Sarawak Energy will take all the necessary measures to ensure the shutdown period are minimised through comprehensive preparations before the works commence.  At the same time, our team will be on standby to ensure fast restoration especially to critical areas in the case of unavoidable interruptions,” assured Mr Lu.

Avoid Unsafe Act When Working Near Electrical Facilities and Infrastructure

Despite frequent engagements and awareness campaigns to inform contractors of the need to adhere to safety measures when working near electrical facilities and infrastructure, many contractors are still ignoring the advice and take safety lightly.

There are incidents where contractors still damage the cables even after engagements and safety briefing at project sites.

“The knowledge and safety culture is still very low amongst third party contractors and this is very alarming, looking at the records on the number of cases affecting electrical facilities,” said Mr Lu.  

Based on Sarawak Energy records for 2018, there are about 10 cases of unsafe acts damaging electrical facilities happening every month and some of the cases had caused supply interruptions to customers.

Sarawak Energy is pursuing maximum penalties possible under the law on these cases and if necessary, will use the provision under the Electricity Ordinance that allows Sarawak Energy to bring the contractor to court.

View of the tilting Transmission Tower

Preparation works for the stabilising mechanism and surveying works in progress at site

Concrete block installation to the stabilising mechanism

Installation of one of the back stay wires as part of the stabilising mechanism.  Works were conducted with necessary safety measures in place.