Monday, 21 July 2008

Electrical Installation at Golf Resort - A Case Study

Golf and Holiday Resorts have grown quite considerably fast in the last 15 years. This may be due to the economic boom experienced by the country and the world as a whole during those period.

As many resorts have been opened, competition to obtain membership to sustain the operating costs of the resorts get stiffer. Subsequently, Resort Managers had been forced to keep the maintenance costs to a minimum to keep the business alive. As the competition continues, one of the the easiest way to keep the operating cost low is by reducing the maintenance budget. This ‘hidden cost’ is very subjective and always fell victim to the resort managers as it is only known to those people who are directly involved in the maintenance activities.

There have been cases whereby Resort Managers had reduced the maintenance budget so much that has resulted in the quality of services offered by the resorts had tumbled dramatically. This has brought bad reputation to the resort.

Kukup Golf Resort (KGR) was one of our clients for a year between 2005 to 2006. We had carried out monthly Electrical Safety Inspection on its 11-kV and 415V systems during the 1-year period which ended suddenly due to Management Take-Over.
KGR is one of the four golf resorts in the country where we had offered our Safety Inspection Services for the past 10 years. The other three golf resorts under our list are in Selangor (1), Terengganu (1) and in Johor (1).

In my opinion, I believe Resort Manager had not put much emphasis on the requirement of Malaysia Electricity Acts 1990 (Act 447) and Malaysia Electricity Regulations 1994 when managing their respective resorts. The management has been iformed by their respective ‘Competent Person’ that failing to comply with the Act and Regulations, they are liable to be charged (penalty) for RM10,000 and RM1,000 per day for every day of non-compliance. In a real term, if this was to be calculated, a resort which has been operating for the past 5 years without complying to the Act 447 shall be penalised to pay an amount equal to RM10,000.00 plus RM(5 x 365 x 1,000) = RM 1.835 million !!!!

Some of the most common non-compliances by the Golf Resort’s Management are :

1. Does not employ the right category of Competent Person;

2. The registration of installation (including Generator Set) has expired;

3. Protection Relays re-calibration was not carried out;

4. Illegal wiring carried out by non-Competent Person;

5. Switch Rooms have been converted to Temporary Stores;

6. No as-built drawings to be referred to during power failures or break-down;

7. Switch Rooms are not kept locked at all times;

8. House-keeping of switch rooms are hardly or never carried out at all;

9. No testing at a five-year interval has ever been carried out ;

10. Provision of tools to maintenance staff is inadequate.

The above general remarks are equally true to most of the golf resorts and other installations (factories, ware-houses, complexes, etc.) inspected monthly by our Competent Electrical Engineers. Those are similar remarks written monthly inside Form I which were sent to the Energy Commission of Malaysia for record and further action.

I sincerely hope that all managers of any premises (golf resorts, factories, installations, etc.) to take note and treat the requirement of the Act 447 is equally important to the provision of the best facilities to your clients. Please take note that all hard works done by your F&B and Marketing departments will render useless once the electrical installation at your premises experiences a major break-down or fault due to poor maintenance caused by very low maintenance budget.

Examples of electrical accidents happened to KGR two years ago (shown in the photographs below) should be a lesson to all other resorts.

The after-effects were :

1. Cancellation of functions (loss in revenue);

2. Bad reputation to the resorts

3. Damage to perishable food stuffs;

4. Penalty to be paid to the Energy Commission (Suruhanjaya Tenaga) for non-compliance of the Act 447 and Electricity Regulations 1994;

5. Injury to personnel/staff

So, since money is not everything in life or business, the quality of electrical installation must be taken care of by the right Competent Person required by the law to ensure that the facilities at the resorts is well-taken care off and are always in a good operational condition.

Further details on facilities available at KGF could be obtained from the following web-site :