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Recent Kolombong blackout due to slanting poles
Published on: Wednesday, June 03, 2020
By: Sidney Skinner
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Technicians attend to the leaning high tension poles (in dark circle). The supply in parts of Kolombong had to be shutdown to accommodate the work to deal with the leaning pole.
Kota Kinabalu: Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) has called on its staff to be more mindful of any irregularities involving the company’s installations, including its high tension (HT) poles.

This action follows the blackouts which hit one part of Kolombong recently, interrupting manufacturing activities at a factory there.

The factory owner provided Hotline with the time and dates of these occurrences. This information was forwarded to the SESB.

A spokesman for the firm said the initial outages at the factory stemmed from a slanting HT pole.

“A motorist had run into the pole some time earlier,” he said. 

“Despite not being knocked down, tension had formed in the wires, which was disrupting the power here, because the pole was leaning over.”

He said action was taken attend to this irregularity after the company became aware of this problem.

“We had to temporarily disrupt the power to the surrounding premises in order to set the pole back upright.

“The affected consumers were informed a few days in advance of this scheduled shutdown.”

The spokesman said the five-hour shutdown began at 10.25am and was to have lasted till 2.25pm.

“However, we had to extend the shutdown till 4.30pm because of a downpour which started at around 2pm that day.

“Our technicians could only resume their work once the rain had petered out as there was less chance of them being electrocuted.”

The spokesman said SESB staff had been asked to periodically check on the condition of this pole and the others in the area to ensure that this problem did not recur.

“We also seek the co-operation of the public to inform us of directly of such problems so that action can be taken to deal with these matters as soon as possible.”

LING of Kolombong bemoaned the frequent outages, saying that the supply to her factory was disrupted “almost daily”. 

“The blackouts last for a few hours each time. This has been going on for the some time,” she said.

“I have lost a substantial amount of business because of this problem.”

She said the disruptions had cost her dearly as she had been unable to meet the orders for her wire-mesh products because of this.

When Ling contacted Hotline at around noon, the operations at her factory had ground to a halt since the premises opened that morning because of the lack of power at the property. 

“This is the third consecutive day that we have been without electricity. 

“On the first and second day that this happened, we were without a supply for more than an hour in the morning.”

She hoped SESB would consider notifying the public in advance, particularly business consumers, about these blackouts.

“This information would be useful, considering everyone pays for an electricity supply,” she said

“Such accountability would also bring the company in line with the Government’s calls for greater transparency to its customers.” 

Meanwhile, the spokesman said a three-hour plus outage in one part of Luyang earlier that same week was caused by lightning strikes.

“This caused power surges which disrupted the operations of four of our feeders in the area,” he said. 

“When these installations were switched back on a trip occurred due to overloading.

“Each feeder had to be consecutively activated before the consumers in the affected areas regained their supply. 

He said efforts to restore the power were also prolonged by the inclement weather at the time.

“The downpour put our staff at risk of being electrocuted. They had to wait till it had become a drizzle to complete their task.”

CHAN, who lives in Taman Casa Fabulosa, said the supply to the neighbourhood and surrounding areas was disrupted for several hours on a recent weekday night.

He said the power to his home was disrupted for more than three hours from around 4.30 pm.

“A week later, I lost my supply for more than about five hours between 11.30am and 4pm,” he said.

“My neighbours phoned SESB’s – 15454 – Customer Management Centre on both occasions.

“They were shocked to find that the staff were in the dark about each of these outages.”

These blackouts were one of many which the residents had been experiencing for some time, according to him.

“I wonder whether these disruptions might be due to the lack of maintenance carried out on the SESB installations servicing this area.

“If this is the case, I hope the company will exercise more diligence to ensuring that these devices work as they should.”

The spokesman refuted the consumer’s claims about the poor condition of its feeders in this part of Luyang.

“A check of our records reveals that these installations are well maintained as they are serviced regularly,” he said.


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