The Sarawak blackout yesterday, which lasted for more than six hours in Kuching, originated from the Bakun plant.

Sarawak Energy Bhd chief executive Torstein Dale Sjotveit said the outage at 5.36pm yesterday led to a shutdown of power stations in Sejingkat, Batang Ai, Mukah, Bintulu and Miri.

According to The Star:

“Just before this incident, the system had a total load demand and supply of 1,555 MW. Bakun, which at the time had a load of 884 MW, dropped its load supply by 456 MW in 10 seconds, causing a serious frequency drop to below 47.5hz in the system. The normal operating frequency in Sarawak is at 50hz.

“To protect the integrity of all the other generators in the system, the safety tripping was automatically activated, resulting in the shutdown of all power stations in the grid. This is termed as a ‘no recovery situation’,” he told a press conference here Friday morning.

Sjotveit said SEB initiated its blackout restoration plan within 10 minutes of the outage to start up its generation plants.

He said Batang Ai hydroelectric plant was restarted at 5.53pm, Tun Abdul Rahman power station at 5.56pm, Bintulu power station at 6.21pm and Miri at 7.45pm.

“Bakun was only able to be synchronised to the grid after 10pm. Two power islands were created in north and south Sarawak while Bakun was delayed, leading to a serious delay in restoring power supply to Sibu.

“The state grid was re-established by 11.30pm and all loads were fully restored by 2.07am on Friday,” he added.

Isn’t someone supposed to be monitoring the operating frequency of the power load? Why did the load supply suddenly plunge in 10 seconds?

Something tells me this won’t be the last we are hearing from Bakun.