Power fully resumed in western New Territories after cable bridge fire but residents still urged to save energy

A fire at a cable bridge left many without power in three western New Territories districts on June 21, 2022. Screengrab of 鄧簡文 地球政治中立人士 暨 不正常人類研究中心人員’s YouTube video
A fire at a cable bridge left many without power in three western New Territories districts on June 21, 2022. Screengrab of 鄧簡文 地球政治中立人士 暨 不正常人類研究中心人員’s YouTube video

After a fire left many without power in three western New Territories districts last night, officials say electrical services have been restored but urge residents to save energy as the supply of electricity remains unstable.

Those living in Yuen Long, Tin Shui Wai and Tuen Mun faced power outages overnight after a CLP Power cable bridge near Long Ping MTR station in Yuen Long caught fire around 7pm on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, CLP’s chief corporate development officer Quince Chong apologized for the inconvenience caused by the outages.

She said that their staff had worked hard to restore electricity by reorganizing the supply in the affected areas.

Chong said the electricity supply was resumed for 90 percent of affected households around midnight, and fully resumed around 8am this morning.

But she said the supply is still unstable and called for residents’ understanding.

“We hope [residents] can save electricity during this period to lower the electricity load. We hope that our repairs work can be completed as soon as possible, so that we can resume normal operations,” she added.

Eric Cheung, CLP’s senior director of power systems, explained that the electricity in the three affected districts is mainly supplied by the cable bridge.

He added it is very rare for all three cables to be faulty, making it difficult to resume normal electricity levels.

“Normally, our supply system is to cater for one single power outage but this time we are getting three transmission cables [that] are faulty, so we are trying hard to see how we are able to organize the other supply sources so as to restore the power supply to the affected areas this time,” said Cheung.

“Our power supply security is getting a bit lower as compared with the normal supply arrangement so if [residents] are able to save energy a bit, it can help us in maintaining the power supply to them before we are able to fully restore the supply in this area.”

He added this would take a few days.

Cheung said the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Under Secretary for Environment Tse Chin-wan said it has requested CLP to submit a preliminary report in three days’ time and a full report in 14 days, covering how to prevent similar events from happening again.

The power outage plunged the districts into darkness and prompted a suspension of train services between Tsuen Wan West and Tuen Mun MTR stations of the Tuen Ma Line on Tuesday.

Some services at hospitals in the districts were also affected.

For some residents, LED light boards normally used to support their idols during concerts came in especially handy.

On Wednesday, classes at 14 schools in Tin Shui Wai were suspended.

A very hot weather warning was also hoisted on Wednesday morning and is currently in force, with temperatures rising to as high as 33 degrees Celsius.

A government spokesman said: “We understand that the power outage incident in this very hot weather has greatly affected the public, and we are deeply sorry for this.”

CLP provides electricity to more than 80 percent of Hong Kong’s population, serving more than 6 million people in Kowloon, New Territories and most of the outlying islands.

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