Wed, 24 Jul 2024

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RM60 million spent to restore Pangi Hydro Station: Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd
Published on: Saturday, June 22, 2024
By: Marutin Ansiung
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RM60 million spent to restore Pangi Hydro Station: Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd
Yusmanizam (second left) visiting the hydro station.
Tenom: Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) spent almost RM60 million to restore the Tenom Pangi Hydro Power Station which has been out of action for a year and a half due to a landslide.

SESB Senior General Manager (Asset Management) Ir. Mohd Yusmanizam Mohd Yusof said the incident in November 2022 caused the tunnel to be blocked and damaged mechanical equipment at the power station.

Speaking after conducting a working visit Friday, Yusmanizam said SESB is now in the final testing phase and the station is expected to be operational again in mid-July. 

The initial testing phase of the mechanical and electrical systems had already started.

“We need to ensure that the electrical and mechanical systems are in a state of complete readiness as the station suffered a lot of severe damage during the landslide,” he said.

Yusmanizam said SESB was looking forward to restarting ops because the power generated would be able to increase existing capacity. Hesaid SESB was also in the final phase of cleaning the effects of landslides in the tunnel and penstock.

“After the final cleaning, experts will be called to make a final inspection and verification at the end of this month before it is put into operation again,” he said.

This power station has three turbines and is capable of generating electricity up to 66 MegaWatt (MW) to be fed into the Sabah Grid System.

The first power turbine is expected to start generating power by mid-July, while the second and third by September and November.

Yusmanizam said the maximum energy demand for Sabah was 1168MW and the highest was recorded during the hot and dry spell in April.

“While the generation capacity in Sabah for the time being is approximately 1,250, the addition of the 66MW from the Tenom Pangi Power Plant will help. If there is an emergency in one of the power plants in Sabah, we can have a ‘backup’,” he explained.

To a question, Yusmanizam said SESB is planning to install detectors or alarms to detect ground movement around Tenom, especially the area near the power station, to prevent similar incidents happening again.

“With the presence of an alarm, we can know earlier and be ready to close the tunnel and penstock to avoid heaps of rocks and soil if there is a landslide near the station,” he said.

However, this is still in the process of study and procurement.

Meanwhile, Station Manager Mark Bingkasan said their biggest challenge was in the tunnel cleaning work because the use of machines was very limited.

He said the workers had to work in a confined space and amid a large pile of rubble where conventional methods were not possible.

“We had to use chemicals to break the rock and also remove all the rubble from the tunnel because explosives cannot be used.” He said at this point about 30 workers were at the project site working in a confined space for 12 hours a day, including overtime. 

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