Two major electricity towers in Ranau on verge of collapse, SESB says remedial measures taken

KOTA KINABALU: Two major electricity towers in the Ranau district are on the verge of collapse due to soil movement, says Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB).

Its chief executive officer Mohd Yaakob Jaafar the two towers supply in total 275KW of power to the east and west coasts of Sabah, with 200KW alone for the east coast.

He said soil movement beneath the two towers is more active than anticipated and they have no choice but to seek assistance from Tenaga Nasional Berhad, the state government and the Air Force.

"Our ground staff already detected problems in December and immediate rectification measures were taken," Yaakob said during a press conference here on Friday (March 1).

"However, due to active soil movements and sinking land, some parts at the bottom of the tower started to break," he said.

He said SESB engaged contractors for emergency restoration and 12 temporary diversion towers are to be built.

"These towers will arrive as scheduled but we have to speed things up now due to the breakages," explained Yaakob.

He said seven temporary towers have been constructed and SESB have asked for five towers from TNB.

"We have also asked the state government to help transport the towers and the Air Force has been tasked to assist," he said.

He said if all goes as planned, the first temporary towers from TNB will arrive within the next few days.

Yaakob said with these measures in place – and if nothing unexpected happens to the existing towers – users do not have to worry about power cuts or rationing unless the worst-case scenario happens, for example if the tower breaks further or collapses.

He said SESB carries out routine checks and inspections on all their assets monthly and some annually.

"Often, temporary diversion towers are put up to prevent power outages, because in 2008, Sabah experienced an almost total blackout and we do not want this to happen again," Yaakob said.

Temporary towers are put up so that permanent electric towers can be replaced without disrupting power supply to users.

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