Call Sarawak Energy Before You Dig

Third Party Excavation Works Cause of Outages at Various Areas Along Kuching-Samarahan Expressway

7 MARCH 2021

Sarawak Energy reminds contractors to contact the power utility company prior to starting any excavation works to avoid any unsafe or outage incidents. Despite continuous efforts in educating contractors on the importance of electrical line safety, outages due to excavation are still one of the contributing factors, causing inconvenience to many.

A total of 488 cases of cable damage were recorded since 2018, incurring RM3.2million in cost. This year alone, Sarawak Energy received 15 cases of third party excavation related outages.

Recently, three incidents due to excavation works by third party contractors affected customers along the Kuching-Samarahan Expressway. Investigations over the complaints were mainly traced to excavated 11kV underground cables on 21 February and 3 March. Among the areas affected were Nursing Care Resort, Eden On The Park, Central City Shophouse, Centre City Shophouse 2, Central City Park 1, Central City Park 2, Central City Park 3, Central City Park 4, Central City Park 5 and Central City Park 6.

Sarawak Energy Western Region Regional Manager Choo Min Chong explained that outages due to excavation can be avoided if the power utility is well informed prior to any works being carried out.

“Call us before you dig, because there is a high chance of underground cables present at the worksite especially in developed areas. The damage to these underground cables not only leads to outages that may require extensive repair works to restrore supply but also poses safety hazards to the contractors. At the end of the day, public safety is our top priority and we want everyone to go home safely - including the contractors,” said Choo.

Choo also said the contractor involved in the excavation works will be responsible for all of the repair costs.

“We will continue to monitor closely the situation on site and will advise the project owner to temporarily issue a stop work notice to the contractor until all the cable routes are identified at the construction areas,”Choo added.

Any third-party contractor breaching safety standards when working near live electric cables will be issued with warning letters and stop-work orders by Sarawak Energy. These letters are also copied to the Electrical Inspectorate Unit (EIU) under the Ministry of Utilities, Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) and the project owner for further action to ensure the contractors take safety seriously.

Contractors are urged to comply with the Electricity Ordinance, the Electricity Rules 1999 and the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994 when carrying out works within the vicinity of high-tension cable or other electrical infrastructure to ensure the safety and health of all persons involved.

Contractors may contact Sarawak Energy's 24/7 Call Centre at 1300-88-3111 or email to notify on works near electrical infrastructure requiring Sarawak Energy’s technical advice.

The damaged 11kV underground cables identified on site.

The burnt 11kV undergound cable found at the excavation site.

Repair works on the faulty underground cable.