Public cooperation vital to fight copper theft - Metro News | The Star Online


Public cooperation vital to fight copper theft

Sarawak Energy’s vandalised substation in Sejingkat that led to power outage.

Sarawak Energy’s vandalised substation in Sejingkat that led to power outage.

KUCHING: Sarawak Energy is seeking public assistance to help make immediate report when experiencing outage or witnessing suspicious-looking people near the company’s electrical facilities.

Quick action in reporting such cases will minimise the duration of outage and in the case of vandalism, can lead to the arrest of the thieves and vandals.

The public can immediately call Sarawak Energy’s customer care centre at 1300-88-3111 or make a report through its mobile app “SEB cares”, said the company after its Sejingkat substation was vandalised and transformer ransacked for copper last Wednesday.

A 1,000kVA transformer in the substation was ransacked and stripped of its content. Copper parts of the transformer were stolen, incurring a loss of about RM30,000 to replace the badly damaged transformer.

“We received the report from a customer at 11.01am. When our technical team reached the substation at 11.32am, the thieves were long gone. After checking with the customer, we found out that supply was actually disrupted at around two o’clock in the morning.

“If we were informed earlier, we could have caught the thieves red-handed. Our team managed to replace the transformer and restore supply to the affected customers at 6.40pm the same day,” said Sarawak Energy regional manager Choo Min Chong in a statement.

Sarawak Energy has increased the patrols and managed to foil a number of attempted vandalism with assistance from the police. The highest number of vandalism cases on electrical facilities is recorded in Bintulu with 13 cases in the recent two months.

“We will continue to work closely with the police to curb this dangerous crime. Public safety is Sarawak Energy’s utmost priority.

“We will continue to emphasise how dangerous this criminal activity can be. The thieves persist in risking their lives by breaking into our substations and stealing parts of our high voltage equipment.

“In addition to causing equipment failure, power outages and electrocution, copper theft can also cause unstable voltage, damaging customers’ electrical appliances,” Choo added.

Since 2015, about 430 cases of copper theft targeting Sarawak Energy’s electrical facilities were recorded. The company has incurred over RM5.2mil to replace stolen and damaged equipment in the last two years.

While efforts have been stepped up in terms of security and monitoring, its operation and retail arm, Syarikat Sesco Bhd will continue to seek the cooperation of members of the public to report incidents of copper theft or suspicious activities around its facilities.

Other than its 24-hour call centre, reports can be logged into Sarawak Energy’s “SEB Cares” mobile app, which is available for download at Apple’s App Store for iOS and Google’s Play Store.

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