PENAMPANG: Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) has supplied a total of 11 units of mobile generators with a capacity of 4.5 megawatts (MW) to meet consumer demand in Sabah where usage is quite high during the current hot spell, said Deputy Chief Minister III Datuk Shahelmey Yahya.
He said the effort is a short-term measure by SESB to overcome electricity supply disruptions occurring in the state.
“According to SESB, electricity supply rationing will be carried out until July so I am appealing to consumers to be patient,” he said after an SESB briefing at the Sabah Load Dispatch Centre (LDC) here today.
The state Minister of Public Works said the rationing was to ensure that the electricity supply was under control (preventing a shutdown of the entire grid) and to avoid any outages occurring on the SESB grid.
He said 17 more mobile generators capable of supplying electricity with a capacity of 8.5mv will be distributed to users next month.
In the meantime, Shahelmey wants the gas power plant project in Kimanis with a capacity of 100MW to speed up its implementation in the state.
Meanwhile, SESB chief executive officer Mohd Yaakob Jaafar said SESB is now trying to maintain a reserve margin of electricity between 20 to 30 per cent although currently the margin is only at 11.66 per cent.
He said it was important that the electricity supply in the state stays on line even though rationing had to be carried out so that power supply could be fully restored by June next year.
He said the demand for electricity consumption currently reached a maximum level of 1,080MW compared to only 1,032MW in August last year’s hot season, in addition to several power stations that could not operate because they needed time to be repaired.
“Previously, electricity consumption at night was between 800 and 900MW, but after Hari Raya it increased to 1,040MW. The difference (of electricity consumption) between 2 pm and night is almost the same,” he said.
In the meantime, Mohd Yaakob said the outage on Tuesday in several places around the state was not due to rationing or sabotage but was caused by an explosion at the SESB high voltage line switch in Karambunai.
Meanwhile, the disruption on Wednesday was caused by damage to an underground cable and SESB is identifying the location of the damage which is between Jalan Meruntum up to the Sipanggil Bridge in Putatan.
Following the power outage, thousands of consumers around Kota Kinabalu, Putatan and Penampang were left in the dark including some public facilities such as the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Kota Kinabalu International Airport since 6 pm until power was fully restored at 10.06 pm.
Mohd Yaakob said the rationing schedule or electricity supply cuts will be shared through SESB’s Facebook page, with messages sent to mobile phones and through WhatsApp posts of the respective district offices.
“Until June next year, SESB will be able to supply as much as 166MW with the addition of more electricity in stages,” he said. – Bernama