Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) has announced that its third high-voltage submarine cable which connects Langkawi to the National Grid will begin operation this month. The project of laying cable connecting from Kuala Perlis Transmission Main Intake (PMU) with the Teluk Apau PMU on the island had commenced in July 2018 and it is now 98% complete.
According to TNB, the project costs RM161 million and the 26.5km 132 kilovolt (kV) submarine cable is part of TNB’s capital expenditure to strengthen the nation’s electricity infrastructure. TNB mentions that the new cable for Langkawi uses the latest technology of cross-linked polyethylene instead of oil-filled cable that was previously used.
TNB President and CEO Datuk Seri Amir Hamzah Azizan is satisfied with the progress of the undersea cable project. Apart from providing improved stability and efficiency of electricity supply, he said: “The project can also become the catalyst to TNB’s efforts to expand the footprint of broadband Internet in Langkawi via the National Fiberisation and Connectivity Plan (NFCP), to boost the tourism economic sector of the island.”
TNB Chief Grid Officer Datuk Ir. Husaini Husin said that the electricity system in Langkawi is now fully automated and the new submarine cable will improve the energy reception to be more reliable.
Since last year, the electricity supply system in Pulau Langkawi has been fully automated and it is managed through the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System (SCADA) which is connected to all 409 substations on the island. With the automated system, it can expedite the recovery time of electricity supply if there’s a system malfunction.
Apart from supplying electricity, TNB aims to be a broadband infrastructure provider. After kicking off its pilot project in Jasin, Melaka, TNB wants to expand its optical fibre network nationwide under the NFCP project. Most recently, they have announced that they are aiming to expand its fibre network to cover Melaka, Perak, Penang, Kedah and Johor by Q1 2020.