Sibu Outage Caused by Intrusion of Seven-Foot-Long Snake at Substation


8 APRIL 2024

Sarawak Energy’s operations arm, Syarikat SESCO Berhad (SESCO), remains committed to maintaining the condition of its electricity infrastructure and equipment, conducting timely scheduled maintenance works to ensure a continuous and reliable power supply for the upcoming Hari Raya festive seasons.

However, ensuring a reliable supply across the state poses challenges, as Sarawak’s transmission and distribution power lines run a great distance alongside or through forests, farms, and plantations. This has brought about unique challenges caused by wildlife.

On 7 April 2024, an unexpected power interruption occurred in Sibu around 2:21 AM, affecting the Oya, Salim, and Deshon areas.

Upon investigation, it was discovered that a seven-foot-long snake had intruded onto the switchgear at the Oya 275kV Substation, leading to the incident. Members of SESCO’s technical team removed the carcass, conducted a thorough inspection to ensure safety, and restored supply to the affected customers by 4.43 AM without further incidents.

Sia Chiu Tiing, Sarawak Energy’s Senior Manager for Transmission Substations, thanked the public for their patience and understanding during the incident.

“Upon receiving the report, we immediately despatched our technical team to the site to investigate and initiate supply restoration works. Given the high voltage nature of our facilities, comprehensive precautions are necessary to ensure safety and prevent equipment damage,” said Sia.

Sarawak Energy is actively exploring solutions to mitigate such incidents, including installing anti-animal climbing guards and conducting regular patrols of the overhead lines in areas with high wildlife presence.

For any queries or wildlife sightings on Sarawak Energy’s facilities, customers can contact Sarawak Energy’s 24/7 Customer Care Centre at 1300-88-3111, email, or chat with the virtual agent CARINA.

Alternatively, customers can also reach the utility provider through Sarawak Energy’s mobile application, SEB Cares, which can be downloaded via the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

A snake which intruded at the Oya 275kV Substation was found to be the cause of the Sibu power disruption on 7 April 2024

A snake had intruded onto the switchgear at the Oya 275kV Substation, which lead to the power disruption

SESCO’s technical team carefully removed the snake’s carcass and ensured the facility was safe before fully restoring the power supply