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Thursday, December 28, 2006

TNB - Your Plan is Not Good Enough

Following the widespread floods in Johor it was reported that TNB will require months to restore power to affected areas.

This appears to be a very long recovery project as one would expect that repairing a damaged substation should not take longer than a week if the job is well coordinated and proper replacement parts are sourced speedily and not wait for the local manufacturer to schedule replacements in their own sweet time.

For a start the Customs could remove all duties for such electrical items provided they meet Malaysian standards.

I just heard on the radio that Taiwan engineers estimate that repairs to the Internet undersea network will take a few weeks.

Now if we compare the scope of works of repairing a cable that is miles under the sea and a TNB substation, it becomes quite apparent that TNB should be able to deliver a faster resolution to getting back the electricity to the tens of thousands of consumers.

Some people say the floods would not have occurred if local authorities had taken adequate steps to prevent illegal logging, river silting or clogged drainage but since the floods have become a reality, we need a more definitive response from TNB to restore supply.

Here is a weather report from 2004 and shows how easy it is for Johor to be hit by severe floods in future years. All we need is a wind shift and a low pressure area over Johor to create floods.

For the longer term TNB should consider siting the substation on a platform at least 3 meters above the general surroundings. The estimated cost for such an extra feature would be about RM40,000 per substation.

The lower portion of the building could be used to store rescue boats or other spares in watertight packing. It could be rented out to other government agencies.

Maybe in 2007 we could see the heavy rains visiting Malaysia again.

Photo: thanks to NST

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