2 Million Sarawakians Experienced 7-Hour Blackout Last Night

Sarawak was hit with its worst ever state-wide blackout last night (28th June 2013), leaving 2 million people powerless.

Sarawak power went out for seven hours from 5.40pm

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Sarawak was plunged into darkness, causing massive traffic jams and bringing business here and in other major towns to a sudden standstill.

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As of 9.30pm power was partially restored in Miri City, especially in the residential areas of Permyjaya but Bintulu was hit by another blackout at 9.05pm.

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Power supply to Kuching city has been fully restored while Miri and Bintulu experienced partial restoration as of 10.45pm tonight after a tripped circuit at the Kemena-Bintulu transmission line, early today, had caused a state-wide blackout.

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The fact is that power supply interruptions are not unusual in Sarawak. The state had experienced several blackouts last year with the longest lasting about three hours.

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The blackout left 2 million people powerless

Crawling traffic snaking for more than two kilometres was also reported on several main roads in the state, located on the northwest of the island of Borneo.

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About 2.5 million people live in the densely forested state where electricity is largely generated from fossil fuels, although a move to hydropower has drawn opposition from locals and environmentalists.

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Over two million people in Sarawak are affected by the statewide blackout caused by tripped circuits at the Kemena-Bintulu transmission lines at 5.40pm.

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The blackout happened during rush hour, causing traffic chaos

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Sarawak power went out for seven hours from 5.40pm

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The blackout caused severe traffic jams in the major urban centres of the state and caused huge losses for many businesses.

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The blackout could not have occurred at a worse time.
When traffic lights suddenly stopped during the rush hour, there was chaos. At least one multi-vehicle pile-up was reported at a junction here.

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The blackout which occurred at 5.40pm this evening caused traffic congestion over two kilometres at the Jalan Satok flyover and Jalan Tun Abang Openg junction and other roads, here, as traffic lights malfunctioned due to the blackout.

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In Miri, the residents were without electricity until 8.30pm while the blackout had also earlier caused traffic jams in the city centre, especially near shopping complexes.

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The cause was tripped circuits at the Kemena-Bintulu transmission power line

Sarawak Energy Bhd said the electricity disruption was due to tripped circuits at the Kemena-Bintulu transmission power line at 5.40pm yesterday.

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In Miri, the dam’s operators said they had nothing to do with the outage.

Bakun Dam chief engineer Zulkifle Osman said: “Every one of our machinery is in good working condition, and we did not face any major technical breakdown before the blackout.

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Sarawak Energy Bhd say they deeply regret the blackout

Sarawak Energy Bhd say they deeply regret the blackout

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Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) corporate communications manager Ahadiah Zamhari said the blackout could have affected all the regions in Sarawak but SEB had yet to ascertain its extent.

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"Sarawak Energy Berhad deeply regrets the inconvenience caused to our customers as a result of tripped circuits at the Kemena-Bintulu transmission power line that happened at 5.40pm this evening.

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Our engineers and technicians are currently working to restore power, and we are doing everything within our capacity to restore power as soon as possible."

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A SESCO spokesperson said an investigation into the cause of the power disruption was being carried out and they would inform the public when more information was available.

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Sarawak Energy CEO Torstein Dale Sjøtveit says the systems is very unstable

Sarawak Energy CEO Torstein Dale Sjøtveit says the systems is very unstable

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Sarawak Energy Bhd's Norwegian CEO Torstein Dale Sjtveit says “I sincerely apologise to those who have suffered from the blackout and I can assure you we will do our best to normalise the situation by Friday morning,”

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”I personally want to send a strong message on behalf of Sarawak Energy that we are truly sorry for all the inconvenience and losses this incident has created and I can assure you we will not rest until we have good control on the system.

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"We have mobilised hundreds of our staff around Sarawak at power stations and substations to support and monitor the recovery of our system."

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“The system tripping led to a total failure of our system and all our power stations were down. The reasons are still not fully known, but with the facts retrievable as of now, looks like the frequency drop may have originated from the Bakun Hydroelectric plant."

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”The system is still very unstable due to the huge impact, but I have at present, a strong team at Menara Sarawak Energy of 30 over of our best people to oversee and restore the system step-by-step"

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“We will also ensure a proper investigation is done with third party input to maximize the learning SEB can get from this very serious incident.

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