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GEORGE TOWN, Feb 23 — Some lanes on the first Penang Bridge could be closed for up to three months to allow repairs to electrical cables that caught fire yesterday, said Zairil Khir Johari.
The state infrastructure and transport committee chairman said Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) will meet with PLUS Expressways to discuss the extent of closure later today.
He said they are considering closing one lane on each side of the bridge only at night for the repair works but this would depend on the amount of repairs needed.
"Hopefully, TNB will announce the decision later after their discussions with PLUS," he said when contacted today.
Zairil also issued a statement to stress that the repair works on the electrical cables at KM3.2 of the bridge would take a maximum of three months.
He said TNB is still investigating the cause of the fire and the timeline for the repairs will be finalised after detailed investigations today.
"Even though the timeline for the repair works depends on the severity of the damage and discussions with PLUS on the lane closure, TNB has given the assurance that the repair works will not take more than three months," he said.
He said TNB visited Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow's office this morning to explain the fire that broke out at the electrical cables at about 4.23pm yesterday.
"The fire damaged three circuits under the bridge, which led to a power supply disruption of about 35 seconds in several areas but the power supply was restored and is stable as there are other sources of power," he said.
Generally, Zairil said the demand for power supply on the island side is up to 700MW and, currently, there are four other circuits, through submarine cables, that have supply capacities of a total 1,180MW while the Gelugor Power Station can supply 310MW of power.
"This means there is supply capacity of about 1,490MW for the island which is more than enough compared to the demand," he said.
He said the state will support TNB's efforts in ensuring stable power supply to consumers in Penang.