KOTA KINABALU: Thousands of errant consumers, including government agencies and big companies, owe the Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) almost RM143mil in outstanding bills.
SESB managing director Baharin Din said the company would try to negotiate with the consumers concerned to settle their dues and would only disconnect power supply as a last resort.
“We do not like to carry out disconnections because they are not good for us and our customers,” he said at a luncheon with members of the media on Wednesday.
He said payments from consumers would help the SESB to upgrade its system.
“We are talking about capital expenditure projects involving some RM1bil. We also need RM1bil for operational expenses,” Baharin said.
Citing an example, he said SESB had embarked on the RM222mil Kota Kinabalu Outer Ring Project to improve power supply in the state capital by January 2009.
SESB was also embarking on a project in Tawau to support the Palm Oil Industrial Cluster and another supporting the Sandakan Education Hub, apart from major projects supporting the Sabah Development Plan.
He said there was a need to replace SESB’s aging cables and poles, some more than 50 years old.
SESB senior general manager Peter Lojumin said equipment theft and damage caused by careless contractors led to losses up to tens of thousands of ringgit each month.
He said that there were seven cases of SESB equipment theft in June causing a loss of RM124,000 and the number increased to 11 in July with losses amounting to RM154,200 and 34 this month with loses totalling RM78,000.
“We have had thieves carting off an entire sub-station transformer, leaving only the frame.”