Overloading cause of surge ves­sel sys­tem burst, says SPLASH

New Straits Times - - NEWS -

KUALA LUMPUR: The surge ves­sel sys­tem burst at the Phase 3 Sun­gai Selangor Wa­ter Treat­ment Plant early this month was be­cause of stress at the el­bow joints pri­mar­ily due to con­tin­u­ous overloading of the sys­tem.

Syarikat Pen­geluar Air Sun­gai Selangor Sdn Bhd (SPLASH,) in a state­ment yes­ter­day, said the plant had 10 pumps on site when only five pumps were needed to pro­duce treated wa­ter.

“Since 2013, SPLASH had writ­ten sev­eral let­ters to the Selangor gov­ern­ment to high­light that its plants were not de­signed to op­er­ate be­yond their de­sign ca­pac­ity on a long-term ba­sis.

“It would cause in­trin­sic dam­age to the plants. It also posed high risks of break­downs.

“The fact that the other four pumps were un­der re­pair dur­ing the in­ci­dent was in­con­se­quen­tial and un­re­lated to the in­ci­dent or op­er­a­tions of the plant.”

SPLASH said the surge ves­sel sys­tem ex­ploded as the plant was about to re­sume op­er­a­tions upon the com­ple­tion of re­pairs to a dam­aged check valve, ahead of sched­ule.

“This in­ci­dent caused ex­ten­sive struc­tural dam­age to the surge ves­sel sys­tem. The ur­gency of restora­tion was crit­i­cal that it re­quired the im­me­di­ate mo­bil­i­sa­tion of 50 work­men to work around the clock.

“It in­volved the ex­ten­sive use of equip­ment — two mo­bile cranes, three ex­ca­va­tors and eight weld­ing sets.”

It added that SPLASH pro­vided reg­u­lar up­dates to Na­tional Wa­ter Ser­vices Com­mis­sion Malaysia (SPAN) and Pen­gu­ru­san Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Air Selangor) of­fi­cials, who were present to mon­i­tor the op­er­a­tions.

“SPLASH car­ries out sched­uled main­te­nance and is reg­u­larly au­dited by SPAN, with the lat­est au­dit con­ducted last year.

“It is com­mit­ted to main­tain­ing the high­est stan­dard of qual­ity and pre­pared­ness for con­tin­gen­cies.”

SPLASH is cer­ti­fied by the in­ter­na­tional Qual­ity, En­vi­ron­ment, Safety and Health stan­dards and has passed its yearly cer­ti­fi­ca­tion with zero non-con­form­ity re­ports for the past seven years.

It also high­lighted po­ten­tial power dis­rup­tions in SPLASH plants as SPLASH’s op­er­a­tions and main­te­nance op­er­a­tors, Sun­gai Har­moni Sdn Bhd and Ga­muda Wa­ter Sdn Bhd, have been served with writs of sum­mons by Te­naga Na­sional Bhd (TNB) for re­cov­ery of un­paid elec­tric­ity bills to­talling RM36 mil­lion and RM39 mil­lion re­spec­tively.

“Shortly af­ter Air Selangor ac­quired wa­ter com­pa­nies Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas), Pun­cak Ni­aga Sdn Bhd and Kon­sor­tium ABASS Sdn Bhd in 2016, Syabas, un­der the new ad­min­is­tra­tion, re­duced pay­ments to SPLASH to about 36 per cent of the billings,” it said.

“At that level, it was no longer pos­si­ble for SPLASH’s op­er­a­tions and main­te­nance op­er­a­tors to pay their TNB bills, chem­i­cals and other over­heads. Prior to Air Selangor tak­ing over Syabas, SPLASH op­er­a­tors had been able to fully set­tle all TNB bills.”

Dur­ing di­a­logues or­gan­ised by the Wa­ter, En­ergy and Green Tech­nol­ogy Min­istry to me­di­ate be­tween SPLASH and Syabas, it was ex­plained that the re­duc­tion in pay­ments to SPLASH was ne­ces­si­tated by Air Selangor hav­ing to ser­vice new lease pay­ments to Pen­gu­ru­san Aset Air Bhd to fund its equity pur­chase of wa­ter com­pa­nies.

“We are of the opin­ion that if Syabas/Air Selangor, as a group, is short of cash, then it should rightly seek cash in­jec­tion from the state gov­ern­ment rather than pe­nalise SPLASH.

“Syabas’s top pri­or­ity should be to pay its cred­i­tors and, only af­ter do­ing so, ad­vance any ex­cess money to Air Selangor for lease rental or other pay­ments.”

SPLASH has been called to reg­u­larly ful­fil 110 per cent of its sup­ply com­mit­ment while re­ceiv­ing pay­ment of 36 per cent of its billings.

“In spite of hav­ing to suf­fer chronic un­der­pay­ments, SPLASH is com­mit­ted to en­sur­ing an un­in­ter­rupted sup­ply of wa­ter.

“When (Selangor Leg­isla­tive Assem­bly Speaker) YB Han­nah Yeoh and (Klang mem­ber of par­lia­ment) YB Charles San­ti­ago rushed to lec­ture on re­spon­si­bil­ity and ap­por­tion blame, they must be bliss­fully un­in­formed.

“SPLASH has, at all times, pro­duced wa­ter with the de­sired qual­ity and quan­tity for Syabas ac­cord­ing to de­mand and has never de­faulted on its obli­ga­tions as an op­er­a­tor un­der its Con­ces­sion Agree­ment with the state gov­ern­ment.”


Overloading caused a surge ves­sel sys­tem burst at the Phase 3 Sun­gai Selangor Wa­ter Treat­ment Plant in Ijok early this month.

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