Lightning may have caused Sandakan blackout
The power interruption that hit the district on Monday afternoon occurred after a bout of heavy rain followed by lightning. Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) East Zone (Sandakan) Manager Ir Magdalene Chu Wei Quan said that the SESB is still investigating the actual cause of the power interruption. “From our initial findings, lightning may have caused a circuit of the 33kV line at Batu Sapi to trip which subsequently caused the generation set at Gantisan Power Barge Sets 1 and 2 and Libaran Sets 1 and 4 to trip,” she said yesterday. Chu said this resulted in a generation loss of 61MW and the transmission system was automatically cut off from the Grid to protect against the sudden high generation cost. The blackout had affected 90 per cent of the consumers in Sandakan, with the exception of some areas along Labuk Road which was supplied by the Labuk Power Station, she told The Borneo Post. “Power supply was gradullay restored but due to some generating sets encountering problems, the process took longer than usual,” Chu explained. In addition, she said the Teluk Salut and Tenom Pangi Hydro Power Stations in the West Coast encountered forced outages in the same afternoon that day, forcing the utility company to implement load shedding. “Industrial areas were the first to load shed but due to the critical situation, the town and residential areas were also affected,” she added.