Wednesday, May 2, 2012

SESB massive power interruption in 2012

If you are residing in the West Coast of Sabah, you'd understand what 'lengthy power failure' means.

Wait, you don't have to. The East Coast is no different. In fact, of all the states in Malaysia, Sabah wins hands down when you talk about figures for SAIDI. Not that it is something good. Several power failure in a month or even week is not something extraordinary.

Power outage too often for comfort

We had business visitors from Singapore early this month (April) and while they were setting up the multimedia projector, the power supply suddenly act against them and died for a good couple of hours. The standby generator set for the building was good only for several power socket outlets and we were without lights and air-conditioners for the whole duration of the presentation.

30-April 2012 is another day to remember for the wrong reason as well. At about 3.00 o'clock in the morning most parts of Sabah West Coast went without power and several places lasted until late afternoon. The worst thing is you don't know what is being done by the power utility company and their customer complaint lines won't help either.

I did this:

Called 15454, and was told: "Sir, you are calling from Sabah, so, please call this number 088-515000.

Called 088-515000, the line was engaged. After several attempt, finally there was ringing tone but no one answered.

Called the number provided in their new website (088-088 282699 / 282500). The lady at the other end of the line politely redirected me to 15454 because 'this is a complaint on power supply interruption'.

Called 15454, knowing that this will be handled by TNB, thousand of km away from Sabah. The person again asked me to call the number above. I told her I'm calling to ask for other numbers to call as 088-515000 seem to be unresponsive and that I we have emergency situation back at the workplace. The person said there's no other numbers other than this. Alright, okay, I'm done.

Screenshot: SESB will be experiencing power shortage until the 60W IPP resumes operation.

Power supply shortage vs. outage

While not speculating on the reason/s for the massive power disruptions on April 30 and May 1, the snippet from SESB website tells us that the power utility is currently operating at peak capacity. As at August 2011 Sabah maximum demand, MD, is 830 MW. The SESB installed capacity from its own generators is about 490 MW. Although no official mention on the total installed capacity from IPPs, the effect of the 60 MW outage is significant and the utility company is living on the edge trying to supply power to the current load distribution.

It will come at no surprise if there are more disruptions between now and May 10, 2012 whereby the 60MW IPP resumes operations, and June 2012 when the new RM80mil., 64MW, Kubota power station in Tawau is commissioned.

In the meanwhile, let's hope that SESB keep the public informed on the progress of power supply restoration on a daily basis, so that we consumers can plan our daily routine. Their new website is a good place to disseminate the information.

How about the large consumers?

As for the large industrial and commercial consumers, it is only courteous on the part of SESB to inform them in writing of major interruptions such as this one, and it is best to give them estimate on the expected date of full normalisation of power supply.

Note that almost all of the larger consumers have standby generator sets and they too, have to plan for fuel purchases and inventory during the interruptions.

TheGreenMechanics' two cents:

Let's work even harder for better power! (SESB's tagline: Working Harder For Better Power)

Lastly, I'll quote the MD's message: "If not us, who? If not now, when?"


tehr said...

sesekali kami juga alami masalah bekalan kuasa ni
memang tak ada pilihan selain duduk je dengan segala hal kerja yang tergendala

de engineur said...

@tehr. TNB power failure hanya sekali-sekala. SESB di Sabah (anak sykt TNB), mau seminggu sekali pun ada, depending on which area you are staying.

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