Damper on upgrading works

SEB maintenance technicians barred from entering the Miri power substation.

MIRI: A RM1bil project by Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB) to upgrade the electricity supply for Miri is in jeopardy as protestors have resorted to locking the gate to the power substation in the city centre.

SEB lodged a police report on the incident two days ago.

It said the protestors physically stopped SEB technicians from carrying out urgent maintenance works.

Yesterday, Piasau assemblyman Datuk Sebastian Ting called for the protestors to cool down.

“SEB is trying to build a new extension to the present power substation in Miri to cater to increasing power needs.

“However, the protest by a group of locals against this project has resulted in the project being shelved until further notice.

“I will try to get both sides to come together to find an amicable solution,” Ting added.

SEB communication and corporate affairs department said this latest development was threatening to jeopardise plans to improve power supply for residents and the main business centre of the city.

“SEB technicians have been stopped from entering the premises to carry out urgent maintenance works because the protestors have padlocked the main gate,” it said in a press release.

“This is not only affecting the maintenance crew but also jeopardising the proper functioning of the substation.

“The maintenance is needed to make sure the power supply to the entire population continues smoothly.”

Mayor Adam Yii said efforts were being made to resolve the dispute as fast as possible.

“This new substation is crucial for residents and business folk in Miri.

“The protest because of land dispute at the site between the locals and SEB is causing the project to be delayed until further notice.

“I hope both sides can reach an amicable solution for the sake of the city as a whole,” Yii said, adding that the city needed to boost its electricity supply to overcome disruptions and blackouts.

He said SEB issued a stop-work order because it feared the safety and security of its workers.

“The new substation is meant to give a 33KV power supply boost to Miri central business district,” he stressed.

Yii said he hoped the project could be resumed fast.

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