New EHV Substation To Strengthen Electricity Reliability For Niah


20 FEBRUARY 2022

A series of supply system reinforcement projects under the Miri system reinforcement plan is currently ongoing to improve reliability of supply to customers at Niah and its surrounding areas.

These reinforcement projects involve the laying of 33KV and 11KV overhead and underground supply lines to connect with the already completed 33KV Niah substation. Work is expected to be completed by June this year preceding the construction of the new RM185mil Niah EHV substation which will serve as an additional injection point for the area. The new injection point will shorten supply lines, facilitating switching operations in the event of a tripping and also lower vulnerability to outages due to external factors on long lines.

The new Niah EHV substation is expected to be completed by 2026. Niah and its surrounding areas are currently being supplied by Similajau and Marudi EHV substations through long overhead supply lines spanning a total of 140KM which makes these lines susceptible to disturbances causing tripping incidents.

The Similajau EHV substation covers Suai and Niah areas through a 65KM long 33KV overhead lines while Marudi Junction EHV substation supplies Bekenu, Bakong and Ladang Tiga through a 75KM long 33KV overhead lines.

Since the beginning of this year, Niah and its surrounding areas recorded six supply interruption cases with four related to planned shutdowns of short duration for load transfer purposes. Two more cases were due to very bad weather and faulty equipment affecting areas from Suai to Bintulu.

“With the commissioning of the new Niah EHV substation and other reinforcement projects, this will definitely improve supply reliability for our customers and reduce such interruptions. In the meantime, we will do the best we can to step up efforts to reduce the risk of supply disruptions and improve our response time to safely restore supply if an outage occurs. Having said this, we appeal for the cooperation of the public especially landowners when it comes to overgrown vegetation affecting supply lines which is a common cause of supply interruptions.

“It is an on-going effort to check on, maintain and where necessary, replace any ageing equipment to enable the smooth operation of our facilities before Niah EHV comes online. We remain committed and are investing significantly to ensure supply reliability to our customers. To date Sarawak Energy has spent more than RM20mil in reinforcement projects for Niah alone,” said Yusri Safri, Sarawak Energy Vice President for Distribution.

The performance of these supply lines is constantly monitored and a technical team is stationed permanently in Batu Niah to provide faster operational response to minimise the duration of interruptions, if any. Ongoing mitigation measures also includes regular line inspections for overgrown vegetation to reduce the risk of interruptions. Other risk includes transient fault, damage by third party contractors working along the stretch and wildlife intrusion among others.

The technical team has intensified its trouble shooting process conducting regular scanning of the overhead lines, timely maintenance of the equipment and communicating with landowners on overgrown vegetation and land clearing activities that may affect the supply lines. The team is also monitoring the Pan Borneo Highway construction activities nearby electrical facilities.

Customers are advised to contact Sarawak Energy 24-hour customer service centre at 1300-88-3111 immediately when faced with supply interruptions to minimise the interruption period. Customers can also lodge the report through Sarawak Energy mobile application SEBcares.