Tuesday , April 24, 2018

Provincial Board to probe power outages in Leyte

THE Leyte Provincial Board will conduct hearings on the power supply status in Eastern Visayas after the 6.5-magnitude earthquake last July 6.

Leyte Vice Governor Carlo Loreto said the hearing is for local legislators to know the real situation of power industry in the province.

He said although power was fully restored on July 28 as per report of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), Leyte continues to experience power interruptions daily.

“We have been receiving feedback why the power situation in Leyte is facing this kind of problem. Investors are also concerned on the feasibility of doing business in Leyte,” Loreto said.

After the tremor, Leyte, Samar, and Bohol provinces suffered total blackout for a week and rotational brownouts for two weeks.

“It is just electricity, but it is a major concern now for every household and in businesses,” Loreto said.

Board members will have to agree on the date of hearing that will be attended by all Provincial Board members, general managers from five electric cooperatives in Leyte, and NGCP officials.

The Department of Energy announced that power was fully restored on July 28 in Leyte, Samar, and Bohol Island ahead of their July 30 schedule.

The NGCP, in a separate statement, also said that it was able to energize its replacement transformer in Ormoc Substation on July 28, ahead of the July 31 deadline.

“Our plans proceeded earlier than scheduled because of the passion and dedication of our people. Our engineers, linemen, and staff worked tirelessly to set all our restoration plans into motion until we restored the reliability of services which we provide our stakeholders. They can be assured that NGCP will continue its work to completely restore all affected facilities,” the NGCP stated.

Even with the power restoration, Eastern Visayas continues to experience power outages until Tuesday night, August 2, due to what the NGCP calls as “generation deficiency.”

“Visayas grid is on red alert due to generation deficiency resulting from temporary unavailability of one generating unit from Palm Concepcion Power Plant and some units from geothermal plants in Leyte. In addition, no generation can be imported from Luzon as NGCP is still working on repairing the earthquake-damaged converter station in Ormoc,” the NGCP said in an advisory Tuesday.

The available capacity was 1,742 megawatts (MW), but the peak demand was 1,868 MW, according to the power transmission system provider.

NGCP is simultaneously conducting repair on the two remaining Transformers 1 and 6 in Ormoc Substation, as well as the Luzon-Visayas High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC).

NGCP said it exerted all efforts to expedite the delivery of needed parts for the repair of HVDC, reducing the delivery time from the usual months to just 20 days. (PNA)