Components in power-generating units behind power outage: Chan Chun Sing

On Sept 18, 2018, 146,797 residential and commercial customers in 19 areas of the country were plunged into darkness for 38 minutes in Singapore's worst blackout in 14 years.
On Sept 18, 2018, 146,797 residential and commercial customers in 19 areas of the country were plunged into darkness for 38 minutes in Singapore's worst blackout in 14 years.PHOTO: DANIEL KUM

SINGAPORE - Specific components used in both Sembcorp Cogen's and Senoko Energy's power-generating units were the source of Tuesday's (Sept 18) massive blackout, investigations have found.

Speaking at the launch of the nationwide open electricity market on Friday (Sept 21), Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said: "We're conducting further tests because some of these components are also used by plants in Singapore." 

He added: "We're working with the original equipment manufacturers to make sure that such things don't get repeated."

On Tuesday at 1.18am, 146,797 residential and commercial customers in 19 areas of the country were plunged into darkness for 38 minutes in Singapore's worst blackout in 14 years.

Mr Chan said the episode showed that Singapore's back-up procedures worked well, because even though both the original and the back-up power-generating units failed, fresh capacity was started 15 minutes afterwards with power gradually restored to the rest of the island.

Asked if power companies Sembcorp and Senoko would face penalties, he said that it was too early to say.

"I would like to assure Singaporeans that we have sufficient capacity in our system, and this is what we demonstrated that night - that when the first system failed, the back-up system kicked in immediately.

 

"And even when the second system failed, we had sufficient capacity to start up the power from 15 minutes onwards."