POWER CUT: Transformer blast the cause
KOTA KINABALU: SABAH came to a near standstill when a main electricity distributing station was crippled in an explosion.
The blackout, which was triggered at 3.23am yesterday, affected about half a million consumers in the state and the Federal Territory of Labuan.
Power supply was restored in stages from 6.40am onwards and was back to normal by 5pm, said Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd senior general manager (asset management) Ahmad Fuad Md Kasim.
He said 435,000 consumers were affected by the blackout.
"Investigations showed that one of the 66kV Capacitive Voltage Transformer at the Penampang Main Intake Substation exploded."
"Due to that, two independent power producers' (IPPs) plants in Sabah's west coast tripped, resulting in a disruption to power stations across the state and Labuan.
"This forced SESB to activate emergency load shedding to ensure Sabah's Grid system remained stable."
The disruption which involved steam turbines at the two IPPs, saw the loss of 155 megawatts (MW) which prompted the manual load shedding.
The substation is where electricity power is produced before being distributed across the state via two main grids, one the runs along the west coast of the state as well as Labuan and another that stretches to east coast districts.
The disruption, however, did not include the Ranau and Telupid areas as they were off the main grid, said Ahmad Fuad.
SESB began restoring supply as early as 4.20am in six locations -- Tawau, Sandakan, Labuan, Melawa, Pangi and Salut.
Ahmad Fuad said a task force had been formed to investigate the cause behind the explosion.
"We lost 475 MW but this has not been translated into financial losses yet."
The demand for electricity in the state from about half a million SESB consumers stands at about 780 MW daily.