KOTA KINABALU April 25, 2012: Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) is confident of further reducing power supply disruption in the state, said its managing director, Ir Abdul Razak Sallim.
He said SESB had set an internal target of no more than 451 minutes of average power outage per customer this year, lower than the official 600 minutes benchmark set by the Ministry of Power, Green Energy and Water.
“With all the initiatives that have been taken, we are confident of achieving the target, barring unforeseen factors like power trip caused by fallen trees or natural disasters,” he said.
Speaking to reporters after a media luncheon here yesterday, Razak said the System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI) recorded by SESB was 250 minutes as of April 19.
The state’s sole power provider managed to keep supply disruption below the 700 minutes per customer limit that was set by the ministry last year, after recording a SAIDI of only 494.64 minutes.
“There are three main factors we need to tackle in controlling SAIDI, namely the number of blackouts, the period of each blackout, and the number of users affected.
“We are also installing more feeders in several districts like Tawau, Sandakan and Semporna to help reduce outage, apart from ongoing projects to increase generating capacity,” said Razak.
He said 142 projects would be implemented this year, where a total of RM276.04 million had been allocated by the government for improving the electricity supply in Sabah and Labuan.
This will include 26 projects for enhancing the electricity generating capacity, 14 projects for transmission, 94 for distribution and eight “major projects”.
“The implementation of several previous SAIDI projects has resulted in positive reduction of power outages. Our SAIDI for last year is much lower as compared to that in 2006 where the SAIDI was 4,030 minutes per user,” he said.
Earlier in his welcoming speech, Razak said his duty as the new managing director was to ensure continuous progress in achieving SESB’s ‘halatuju’, which included strengthening electricity generating, transmission and distribution capacity and competitiveness.
He said the framework towards achieving this mission had been carefully planned and organized in three key development tools, namely the Strategic Transformation Action Roadmap, Five Year Business Plan and Annual Key Performance Indicator.
Towards achieving all the objectives underlined by these tools, he said several factors would be given attention including financial stability; organization structural capacity and information technology compatibility.
“Apart from the internal factors I mentioned, SESB also need support, cooperation and understanding from the state and federal governments, private sector, NGOs, the public and of course the media in order to move forward and fulfill its mission and the aspiration of stakeholders,” he added.
At the event, Razak also launched SESB’s new website. The improved page is more user friendly and equipped with interactive features that allow visitors to communicate with SESB.
Meanwhile, when asked about recent protest against SESB’s gas-turbine power plant project in Tawau, Razak said they always took into consideration the views and complaints from the public when implementing any project.
However, he said SESB has to balance between the concerns raised by the local community and the urgent need to provide dependable power supply to the state.
“As far as SESB is concerned, we will comply with any regulation there is in implementing the project,” he added.
A briefing was also held during the luncheon to inform the media on the current challenges and projects being implemented by SESB to stabilize the state’s power supply.
General Manager (System Operation) Addie Ahmad, who gave the briefing, said the total generating capacity in the west cost was still considered stable with 726MW, to cater for current demand of 510MW.
The east coast however was already on critical level, having only 292MW of maximum generating capacity to cater for 270MW of demand.
“Should any of the power plants in the east coast break down, the whole east coast could become unstable as the total remaining generating capacity falls below demand.
“Under normal circumstances, the excess capacity from the west coast can be sent to the east grid but in cases where several power plants are out of operation, then we would not be able to cope and have to resort to cutting off supply to certain areas,” he said.
He also informed that SESB was planning to build another grid in the southern part of the state, which together with the northern grid would connect the east and west coast systems in an complete ring circuit.
“The additional grid is expected to be in place before 2020,” he said.
by Murib Morpi