SESB will not giving discount following January 2014 blackout


KOTA KINABALU: Electricity consumers in Sabah will face the full brunt of the new tariff that came into effect on Jan 1 this month as Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd ruled out giving a ‘discount or rebate’ following the Jan 16 state-wide blackout.

The company’s managing director Abdul Razak Sallim said that they could not give rebate, as SESB was also a victim of the blackout that triggered by a sudden shutdown of generators at a independent power producer at Teluk Salut in Sepanggar here.

”SESB is also a victim of circumstances. In fact, the revenue we get now is not enough for us to operate. So there is no way that we can give discounts,’’ he said when asked if the utility company would give a discount in their January bills.

Over 500,000 consumers were affected by the nearly eight hour blackout with many, including political parties, calling on SESB to provide a rebate as compensation for the blackout after the new electricity tariff rates came into effect from Jan 1.

Razak said that that in initial findings for the failure of the Sabah power grid was triggered by a “manual shutdown” of four engines at an IPP in Sepangar here.

Quoting a letter from the IPP, Razak said the IPP had said; its “diverter damper” door, which covers the gas connection from the turbines to power up a steam turbine at the plant, could not be shut.

As smoke was continuously coming out of the plant, they decided to shut down the gas turbines.

However, Razak said that detailed investigations were still underway by a special task force, including the Energy Commission to determine if human error or technical problems triggered the problem.

Energy Commssion west coast areas director Nazlin Ab Alim Sidiri said that the detailed report of the incident would be forwarded to the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry to decide whether to launch further indepth investigations.

”The IPPs and SESB have been licensed to transmit power to consumers. If we find out any potential for either of them to have saved and restored the power but still failed to do so, their licence could be revoked,’’ she said.

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P/s : In my opinion the IPP should take responsibility on the blackout.