Thursday, October 16, 2014

Old SESCO power station of the 50's - 60's

SESCO administrative building at right and generating station at left.
Picture shows the place in the late 50's - 60's when the power station was located in the midst of the Bintulu town centre.
In the 1963 the diesel powered station produced 390 kilowatts of electricity for the whole of Bintulu town needs.
( Photo credit : Ho Ah Choon, Sarawak in Pictures 1940's - 1970's.)

The former SESCO building site is taken over by other government-related agency while the former power station site currently houses the Department of Information building.
Picture taken on 12 October, 2014.
Electricity in towns throughout Sarawak was previously under the jurisdiction of the Public Works Department since 1923.  Only in 1932 was SESCO (Sarawak Electricity Supply Company) formed to take over the responsibility of generating electricity supply to Sarawak towns using the DC electricity supply system.  Bintulu was provided with electricity in 1939.  Throughout the Japanese occupation period the power station was operated by the Japanese.  The power station suffered much damage due to allied forces bombing when they tried to re-occupy Bintulu.  It was only after 1948 did the Bintulu generating station restored its 12-hour day service.  In the 1950's the station production of electricity power increased in tandem with the growth of the town. The amount it produced in 1951 was only 22 kilowatts, in 1955 some 44 kilowatts and in 1959 it supplied  124 kilowatts of electricity for the town and outlying villages.  In 1963 the SESCO power station as shown above  produced 390 kilowatts of electricity per day for the small Bintulu town's consumption needs.

(Note: The information above were largely sourced from Vernon L. Porritt, British Colonial rule in Sarawak 1946-1963, Oxford University Press, Kuala Lumpur, 1997)