Earthworks Contractors

Singapore has a reliable supply of electricity, among the best in the world. EMA regulates the electricity and piped natural gas sectors and is committed to maintaining the country’s high standards for the delivery of electricity to consumers. A large part of this involves ensuring that earthworks are done in a way that avoids damaging electricity cables and affecting supply to consumers.

Under the Electricity Act (Chapter 89A), contractors are required to obtain electricity cable plans from SP PowerGrid Ltd (SPPG) and engage a Licensed Cable Detection Worker (LCDW) to ascertain the location of high voltage electricity cables in the work area before starting earthworks. Contractors should submit the Notification for Commencement of Earthworks (NCE) to SPPG at least seven calendar days before they commence earthworks in the vicinity of any high voltage electricity cables. Upon receiving such notification, SPPG will issue a Letter of Requirements (LRe) for earthworks. All contractors are required to comply with SPPG’s LRe.

From 1 Apr 2018, EMA and SPPG have implemented the Registered Earthworks Supervisor (RES) scheme to enhance cable / gas pipeline damage prevention. The RES scheme aims to ensure site supervisors are competent in cable / gas pipeline damage prevention measures, and adhere to them as required under SPPG's LRe. Only site supervisors who have passed the RES course, and are registered as a RES with SPPG, will be allowed to supervise worksites in the vicinity of high voltage cables and medium/high pressure gas pipelines. Any non-compliance with SPPG's LRe would result in demerit points being given to the RES. The RES will have his registration pass suspended or revoked if his total number of demerit points exceeds a specified threshold.

Beside complying with the requirements stipulated under the Electricity Act and SPPG's LRe, contractors are also strongly encouraged to refer to SS576:2019 (Code of Practice for Earthworks in the Vicinity of Electricity Cables) as a guide to best practices for earthworks near underground electricity cables to prevent cable damages. You may purchase a copy of the code of practice online

According to Section 85(1)(a) of the Electricity Act (Chapter 89A), any person who removes, destroys or damages any electrical plant or electricity cable which is part of a transmission system that belongs to or under the management or control of an electricity licensee shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $1 million or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years or to both.

EMA will investigate all cable damage incidents and take firm action against parties who contravene Section 85 of the Electricity Act.

The table below shows the list of earthwork contractors who have been charged and convicted in Court in the last 2 years.

Date Convicted Company/Contractor Location of High Voltage Electricity Cable Damage Date of High Voltage Electricity Cable Damage Total Fines Imposed by the Court ($)
18 Jun 2021 Kiso-Jiban Consultants Co. Ltd., Singapore Branch Pasir Ris Drive 1, near Lamp Pole No 51 14 Jun 2018 35,000
28 Apr 2021 LCE Engineering Pte Ltd Construction site at Selarang Park Complex, Upper Changi Road 24 Apr 2017 42,000
09 Apr 2021 A Deli Construction Pte Ltd Construction site at 751 Yishun Ave 7 02 Mar 2018 35,000
05 Feb 2021 Weng Guan Technology Pte Ltd Tampines Ave 10 near Lamp Pole 78/A 03 May 2017 51,000
08 Jan 2021 Tiong Seng Contractors (Pte) Ltd Irwell Bank Road near Lamp Pole No. 16 21 Oct 2017 70,000
16 Oct 2020 UGL (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. Woodleigh Park near Lamp Pole No. 22 15 Sep 2017 15,000
16 Oct 2020 Uni-Zone Structural Pte Ltd Near Blk 127 Geylang East Avenue 1 12 Jul 2018 35,000
25 Sep 2020 J&Co Engineering Pte Ltd 3 Mei Chin Road 08 Oct 2017 35,000
28 Aug 2020 Swee Hong Ltd Adam Road near Lamp Pole 14F 02 Sep 2017 60,000
02 Aug 2019 ALN Engineering Pte. Ltd. Yishun Central 1 near Lamp Pole No. 9 04 May 2017 35,000

Consumers who are affected by cable damage incidents may wish to seek independent legal advice for any losses and damages that they may have suffered. They should do this before deciding if they want to pursue further legal action against the contractors.

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