Backed by 36 years of experience at SP Group, veteran engineer Ang Seng Kok has been part of a gamut of iconic projects and meticulous operations that have established Singapore’s world-class power grid. Currently the General Manager of Projects at SP PowerGrid, he oversees the implementation of Electricity and Gas projects such as installation and renewal of electricity equipment and cables, substation modification works, installation of gas transmission and distribution pipelines, and diversion works.
“A major project we’re working on is the transmission and distribution switchgear and cable renewal works at Admiralty Road West 230kV substation. The equipment has reached the end of its service life and replacement works are needed to maintain overall network reliability.”
He vividly remembers the intricate details of his career at SP as well PUB prior to corporation.
Seng Kok at Telok Blangah depot during his first posting to the Operations and Maintenance Central section in 1988.
In 1985, Seng Kok started with the Operations and Maintenance Central section. He obtained his switching certificate to operate 22kV networks and was trained to conduct equipment maintenance, fault repair and cable diversion.
He recalled his initial years when he benefitted from overseas exposure. “One of my first postings at SP Group (then PUB) was at the Public Lighting section. My team was in charge of installing and maintaining street lighting for public roads for the entire island. In 1994, I was sent to Holland for a two-week lighting course to learn about the best lighting designs for road users so as to provide safe and comfortable vision for road users at night."
Seng Kok (fourth from left) with his course mates during the lighting course in Europe, in 1994.
An incident that left the deepest impression was when he was with the Distribution Control & Customer Service section. A major power outage occurred in 2004 at around 10pm and one-third of the customers were affected.
“As head of the section, I was on my usual round-the-clock standby in case of any network disruption. I recall sprinting down the staircase from the 13th floor of my apartment as the lift stopped working. I had to brave the darkness and drove to the control centre safely with no operating traffic lights and streetlights while staying on the phone line to provide situation updates!”
Seng Kok with the Electricity Service Centre crew when he was with the Distribution Control & Customer Service section in 2008.
In 2016, Seng Kok assumed responsibilities in Procurement which he felt was his “most interesting stint” as he held his first non-engineering role.
“It was an eye-opening experience carrying out factory audits before awarding tenders to manufacturers. We had to ensure adequate manufacturing capability, sound processes for quality control and assurance are in place and workers are well trained.
Seng Kok (centre) with engineers from SP PowerGrid at a substation.
The 61-year-old added, “After doing my tour of duty across different teams, I am back to where I first began. It has come full circle for me! However, the way we operate has changed tremendously over the years, with energy transformation, digitalisation and higher customer expectations. To be effective in what we do, it’s important to stay agile and keep up to date with best practices and technology.”