TNB: Critical to carry out maintenance

PETALING JAYA: Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) can no longer postpone its urgent maintenance at the Bukit Badong substation supplying electricity to the Sungai Selangor water treatment plants, dampening the joy of those ushering in the Yuletide season.

This despite calls from certain quarters urging the utility company to defer its plans to a later date as going ahead would affect an estimated 3.9 million households and businesses in the Klang Valley.

TNB maintained that it had wanted to carry out its work earlier, but there was a “collective decision” to push it towards the end of the year.

Upgrading work on the substation in Kuala Selangor was supposed to kick off on Sept 27, but the Selangor water companies disagreed, the company said.

TNB chief corporate officer Datuk Roslan Ab Rahman said the decision to carry out the work from today was decided collectively with the National Water Services Commission (SPAN) during a meeting on Oct 31.

Besides SPAN, he said, representatives from Pengurusan Air Selan­gor Sdn Bhd and Syarikat Pengeluaran Air Sungai Selangor Sdn Bhd were present.

Roslan said the water authorities, who were also TNB customers, requested for the work to be postponed.

“These companies would have studied the water usage before suggesting the new date.

“They know better in terms of (water supply) demand.

“So, they recommended a new date and we agreed,” he said during a press conference following widespread public backlash on social media over the decision to shut down the substation about a week before Christmas.

Roslan pointed out that the maintenance of the substation was in the interest of consumers and to ensure continuous water supply from water treatment plants, which needed electricity.

Sungai Selangor water treatment plants phase 1, 2 and 3 would cease operations during the maintenance work. The water supply disruption could last until Christmas Eve.

Roslan said TNB had been monitoring the situation at the substation weekly and that it had gotten to a point where further delays were not possible.

“There is a risk of losing the whole substation and it will take an even longer time to recover,” he stressed.

He said TNB would ensure the work was carried out according to schedule, adding that contingency plans would be put in place.

“Although the shutdown will disrupt the main water treatment plants, electricity supply will not be effected.”

Roslan added that the questions on why water supply would be disrupted for five days was “best left to Syabas (Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd) to explain”.

“Our work at the substation will only take 16 hours and there will be power disruption to the treatment plants,” he said.

TNB vice-president (distribution) Datuk Baharin Din said physical inspections, including thermal scanning last Thursday, found two hot spots which required immediate action to prevent major damage to the equipment.

Besides maintenance work, Baharin said arc protections (fire protection for the equipment) would be installed during the shutdown.

“This will ensure longer term safety for the system,” he said.

Baharin said TNB was working with all parties, including the Government to ensure such problems would not recur during the next maintenance cycle.

This include the suggestion for backup generators for water treatment plants, he added.

SPAN chairman Datuk Liang Teck Meng said the water disruption was unavoidable.

He pointed out that the timing of the shutdown was agreed by all parties, including the water companies in Selangor and the decision should not be politicised.

“However, it is indeed too near to Christmas and this situation should not be repeated in future,” he said.

He said SPAN had urged all parties to minimise the impact and to ensure water supply was restored as soon as possible.

In a separate statement, Syabas urged the public to visit its official website (, “mySYABAS” smart phone application, “Air Selangor” Facebook or “air_selangor” Twitter accounts for the water supply schedule and other updates.





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