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CEM improves flood protection capacity of electrical facilities in low-lying areas

24 July 2018, Macau

Since Typhoon Hato, Companhia de Electricidade de Macau (CEM) has been following up on the flood defence works for electrical facilities in low-lying areas. As the typhoon season begins, the public are generally concerned about the flood protection capacity in low-lying areas, with regard to this, CEM held a media briefing on flood defence works at low-lying areas this afternoon at CEM System Dispatch Centre and introduced the latest progress on the relevant works, as well as organized site visits at two customer substations near Rua da Praia do Manduco.

During the briefing, Billy Chan, Senior Manager of CEM Transmission and Distribution Department summarized the serious damage of electrical facilities in low-lying areas brought by Typhoon Hato last year, which has affected the electrical facilities inside the customer substations and the low-voltage distribution pillar boxes and potheads installed at low level. CEM started the maintenance works immediately after the typhoon. A total of 3,463 potheads, 73 distribution pillar boxes, 34 ring main units and 31 transformers has been repaired or replaced. The entire process took more than 2,700 man-days to complete. During this period, CEM maintained close ties with the Office for the Development of the Energy Sector (GDSE) and jointly carried forward the solutions, striving to reduce the risk of power equipment being flooded and the impact on the public.

CEM has currently completed the inspections and replacements of a significant quantity of equipment, nevertheless the work continues. In response to the flooding caused by the storm surge, CEM has investigated further and launched a series of flood defence measures. The flood defence works related to the electrical facilities include optimizing the medium-voltage network to avoid power distribution equipment at higher ground affected by electrical facilities in low-lying areas, raising distribution pillar boxes and potheads in the streets and the electrical installations inside customer substations, as well as simultaneously increasing the power network capacity. Whereas the flood defence measures targeting customer substations include the installation of flood barriers, strengthening the sealing of cable inlets, installation of flooding alarm systems and sump pumps to enhance the ability of customer substations to resist flooding. It is hoped that the impact of flooding on power supply can be minimized through the above flood defence measures.

Chan stressed that ensuring reliable and stable power supply to residents has been CEM’s top priority. However when facing natural disasters, CEM may need to suspend the power supply depending on the situation to ensure public safety and prevent severe damages to power facilities. CEM hopes that all these flood defence measures can help in providing resistance and deferring the process, at the same time minimizing the impact on the power supply system and the public.

Regarding the long-term flood defence measures, CEM has revised the standards for electrical facilities in buildings in terms of flood protection, which in turn can improve the flood-resistant capacity of power facilities in new buildings at low-lying areas. In addition, CEM is currently looking for new locations at the Inner Harbour to relocate some of the customer substations to a higher level. This measure does not only address the flooding problems in the long run, but also increase the power network capacity for the older part of the city. The coordination and support of residents and the Macau SAR Government is particularly important as the power infrastructure must be changed and updated in accordance with urban planning.

To let the media understand the project better, the media was invited to visit two customer substations located in Rua do Dr. Lourenço Pereira Marques and Rua da Praia do Manduco. The electrical facilities at the former customer substations have completed the raising works, while the latter has applied multiple flood defence measures simultaneously.

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