Power Supply Disruption in Lawas Caused by Third-Party Excavation Works

Contractors Reminded to Call Sarawak Energy Before Digging


4 APRIL 2024

Sarawak Energy warns all contractors that they must check with the utility provider before starting excavation works to mitigate safety risks, such as injuries or fatalities, and prevent potential legal action. This follows the recent damaged cable incident that disrupted power supply to various parts of Lawas.

The latest incident was caused by a public contractor doing excavation work on 28 March 2024, damaging three underground cables along Jalan Lawas-Damit, disrupting power supply to New Lawas Centre, Taman Kaya Indah, Limpaki, Long Tuma, Natad Musu, Tang Itong, Pa Kepulu and surrounding areas.

Due to the severity of damage sustained by the cables, these areas experienced a prolonged outage as the cables had to be replaced, and additional manpower from Limbang was deployed to expedite repair works. Upon receiving the report at 3.15pm in the afternoon on 28 March, Sarawak Energy immediately dispatched its technical team for repair and restoration works. Supply was fully restored to affected residents the following day at 8.05pm on 29 March.

Mohammad Saiful Misi, Sarawak Energy’s Regional Manager for the Northern Region, expressed disappointment over the contractor’s negligence and warned that stern action would be taken against the responsible party.

“We have repeatedly engaged with third-party contractors to inform them to reach out to us to identify underground cables before starting any excavation. It is disappointing that our warnings have been disregarded.”

“In addition to warning letters sent to those responsible, contractors who damage our facilities will bear the costs of damage. In this particular case, we are considering legal action to underscore our commitment to addressing this matter seriously.”

All contractors are also reminded to monitor their worksites closely to ensure works are conducted at a safe distance from electrical facilities. Prior consultation with Sarawak Energy before commencing any works is essential to prevent damage to cables, thereby avoiding supply disruptions and safeguarding the welfare of workers and the public.

“In addition to the inconvenience caused to affected residents by power disruptions, working in proximity to our facilities is extremely dangerous due to live electricity. Any contact can lead to injuries or loss of life. We want everyone to take responsibility for ensuring everyone’s safety and their safe return home by complying with these requirements,” said Mohammad Saiful.

To report works near electrical infrastructure requiring technical advice from Sarawak Energy, contractors can contact Sarawak Energy's 24/7 Customer Service Centre at 1300-88-3111 or email

Excavation works carried out by a contractor at Jalan Lawas-Damit led to the underground cable damage

Underground cable damage caused by excavation (red arrow)

Technical team replacing the damaged cables