SESB: Better power supply for Matunggong now

The Borneo Post

KUDAT, 26 SEPTEMBER 2013 - The commissioning of a new main intake substation in Matunggong here will ensure that consumers there will get better electricity supply.

According to Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd’s senior general manager (asset management) Ir. Ahmad Fuad Md Kassim, the RM17 million project will see 2,048 consumers in Matunggong enjoy stable electricity supply.

Ahmad Fuad told reporters this during an inspection trip to the substation yesterday.

“The new main intake substation in Matunggong is a SESB implemented project under the Ninth Malaysia Plan (9MP) at a cost of RM17 million. The construction commenced in 2006 and was completed in 2011."

"This substation will supply electricity to 2,048 consumers in Matunggong and to overcome voltage reduction experienced in the area. Before this, the supply was from Kudat’s main station which is quite far and causes reduction in voltage,” he said.

Ahmad Fuad added that the substation can also supply electricity to the Milau Water Treatment Plant in Matunggong and the two schools there besides reducing SESB’s SAIDI in Matunggong and the state as a whole.

“With the PMU, we can expand our coverage in Matunggong and Sabah in general and the government through the Rural and Regional Development Ministry targets to achieve 95 percent coverage of electricity supply in the state by 2015,” he said, adding that as of July this year, SESB’s coverage is 91 per cent of Sabah.

On whether 100 per cent coverage is achievable, Ahmad Fuad pointed out that it would be difficult to achieve due to the ever increasing number of properties being built.

“Everyday we see new houses and buildings completed, this means that the number of consumers increases daily too. In Peninsular Malaysia, TNB can only achieve 98 per cent and this is also due to the same reason such as population growth as well as the growth of residential and industrial estates."

“We are pushing for 98 per cent coverage in Sabah and other than supplying electricity through the grid, the government is ensuring that those in the rural areas get their supply through alternative means like solar hybrid and submarine cable,” he said.

Pulau Gaya, Ahmad Fuad disclosed, is an example where alternative means is used as electricity is supplied to consumers on the island via submarine cables.

He said that in the past, Pulau Gaya was only supplied electricity from 6pm to 6am but as of 2011, consumers on the island just off the City now enjoy 24-hour electricity supply after the installation of submarine cables from the mainland.

Further, according to him, SESB is confident of achieving 93 per cent coverage by the end of this year.

He also said that under the Rural and Regional Development Ministry’s Rural Basic Infrastructure (RBI) program, it has already identified villages which had yet to receive electricity supply.

“On Monday, I attended a meeting at the ministry and we identified more than 300 villages which do not have electricity supply. One of the reasons is Sabah’s terrain and the other is that the grid has not reached the areas where the villages are located."

“So we will bring the grid to the villagers. For example, the ministry is in the midst of implementing three projects to extend our grid. One is from Kota Belud to Ranau, second, from Tenom to Nabawan and third is from Segaliud to Pinangoh."

“With the completion of the three main intake substation by 2016 we can further extend our distribution lines. The projects are ongoing and we are now in the process of obtaining wayleave for the land,” he said.

Ahmad Fuad also said that the announcement by Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal on the RM100 million project to improve the electricity supply in Ranau was part of this improvement initiative.

“Ranau is currently off grid and electricity supply is obtained from the generator station there, same as in Telupid. When the Segaliud to Pinangoh grid is completed, Telupid will get its electricity supply through the grid,” he said.
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