Minimising blackouts Special task force set up to help reduce power supply interruptions in Sabah


Maximus (centre) together with Parti Bersatu Sabah deputy president Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai (second from left) and some of the guests tossing ‘yee sang’ during the KeTTHA luncheon with media in Kota Kinabalu. — NORMIMIE DIUN/The Star

KOTA KINABALU: A special unit has been formed to reduce power supply interruptions in Sabah, says Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili.

He said the task force comprising 45 experts from Tenaga Nasional Bhd and 15 Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) officers will be formulating measures to minimise power supply disruptions here.

Maximus said in 2016, electricity supply disruptions in Sabah, as measured by the System Average Interruption Duration Index (Saidi), was more than 311 minutes per consumer per year, exceeding the target of 250 minutes.

This was a result of various incidents including lightning strikes on SESB facilities in Sandakan and fires at the Tenom Pangi hydroelectric dam and a substation at Tanjung Lipat, Maximus said at a luncheon with the media.

He said apart from reducing the duration of power supply disruptions, efforts were underway to lower the frequency of blackouts in Sabah as well.

“We have to look at not only power generation but also transmission and distribution issues as well,” Maximus added.

He said the move to reduce Sabah’s Saidi to 150 minutes in 2018 would initially focus on certain areas in the state’s west coast including Kota Kinabalu and Labuan.

Maximus said SESB would strive to significantly reduce power supply disruptions, adding that the benchmark was Putrajaya where the Saidi was three minutes while the entire peninsula Malaysia was 55 minutes.

“It is worth remembering that the Saidi in Australia is 400 minutes while the figure for the United States is 460 minutes. So, we are not doing too badly,” he said.

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