KUALA LUMPUR: The bursting of the surge vessel system at the Sungai Selangor Phase 3 Bukit Badong plant early this month was because of stress at the elbow joints due primarily to continuous overloading of the system.
The Syarikat Pengeluar Air Sungai Selangor Sdn Bhd (SPLASH) today in a statement pointed out it has a total of ten pumps on site, however, only five pumps are needed to produce treated water to its overloaded capacity.
“Since 2013, SPLASH had written several letters to the state government to highlight that its plants were never designed to operate beyond its design capacity on a long-term basis.
“Doing so would cause intrinsic damage to the plants. It would pose a high risk of unexpected breakdowns.
“Therefore, the fact that the other four pumps were under repair during the incident was inconsequential and totally unrelated to the incident or the operations of the plant,” the statement said.
SPLASH said the bursting of the surge vessel system occurred just as the plant was about to resume operations, following the successful completion of repair works of a damaged check valve, ahead of schedule.
“This incident caused extensive structural damage to the surge vessel system. The urgency of restoration was so critical that it required the immediate mobilisation of 50 workmen on site working continuously around the clock.
“It involved the extensive use of equipment - two mobile cranes, three excavators and eight welding sets,” SPLASH said.
It added SPLASH provided regular progress updates to officials from water regulator the National Water Services Commission Malaysia (Span) and
Pengurusan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd who were on site to help monitor the works.
“SPLASH has always carried out its scheduled maintenance work and has been regularly audited by Span, the latest being in 2017.
“It remains committed to maintaining the highest standards of quality and preparedness for contingencies.”
SPLASH is certified to international Quality, Environment, Safety & Health (QESH) standards and has passed its yearly certification with zero non-conformity reports (NCRs) for the past seven years.
It also highlighted potential power disruption to SPLASH plants as SPLASH’s O&M operators Sg Harmoni Sdn Bhd and Gamuda Water Sdn have been served with writs of summons from Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) for recovery of unpaid electricity bills totaling RM36 million and RM39 million respectively.
“Shortly after Air Selangor acquired the other water companies SYABAS, Puncak Niaga Sdn Bhd (Puncak), and Konsortium ABASS Sdn Bhd in 2016, SYABAS under the new administration proceeded to reduce payment to SPLASH to only about 36 per cent of billings.
“At that level, it was no longer possible for SPLASH O&M operators to pay for TNB bills, chemicals and other overheads. Prior to Air Selangor taking over Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor Sdn Bhd (Syabas), SPLASH operators had been able to fully settle all TNB bills,” it said.
During several dialogues arranged by the Ministry of Water, Energy and Green Technology 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 (PAAB) for funding its equity purchase of water companies.
“We are of the opinion that if SYABAS/Air Selangor as a group is short of cash then they should rightly seek cash injection from the state government, rather than penalise SPLASH.
“SYABAS’ first priority should be to pay its creditors and only after doing so, advance any excess moneys 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 the chronic underpayments, SPLASH commits to ensure uninterrupted water supply.
“When YB Hannah Yeoh and YB Charles Santiago rushed to lecture on responsibility and apportion blame, they must be blissfully uninformed.
“SPLASH has at all times produced water to desired quality and quantity for SYABAS according to demand and has never defaulted in its obligations as an operator under its Concession Agreement with the state government.”