NGCP: Right-of-way problems affect operations-A A +A
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
THE National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) admitted it has a hard time solving Right-of-Way (ROW) problems in Baguio City affecting its field operations.
NGCP spokesperson lawyer Cynthia Alabanza identified the various ROW violations that hamper the maintenance of NGCP’s transmission facilities as planting of trees within the ROW corridor, grass fires at or around NGCP’s facilities, squatting and putting up of structures under their transmission lines, and kite flying.
She said these violations can disrupt the transmission of power and cause power outages, adding that they damage their lines and compromise the safety of the public.
She said the ROW issues have been a concern of the transmission business even before NGCP took over the operations and maintenance of the country’s transmission facilities in 2009.
“In fact, the bulk of our ROW concerns were inherited from the National Transmission Corporation (TransCo). Last year, in North Luzon alone, there were eight outages or line trippings caused by ROW violations. A national total of 44 incidents were recorded last year for such ROW violation-related outages. Apart from being the cause of the problem, some ROW violators compound the problem by preventing our people from coming in and fixing damaged lines. The net effect of all this is that so many residents relying on our speedy delivery of electricity suffer for the actions of a few,” Alabanza said.
She said ROW violations imply additional cost to the company because they have to clear the land of vegetation and structures before performing maintenance work.
Meanwhile, the NGCP also warned the public of the safety hazards for ROW violators.
Transmission lines are open lines that carry a minimum of 69,000 volts and a maximum of 500,000 volts.
“Electricity induction may occur once the safe clearance is breached. In other words, if you get near enough, even without touching the lines, you are in danger of being electrocuted,” Alabanza said.
“Our lines carry electricity that is more than 300 times the power of the electricity flowing in our households, which is just 220 volts. Breaching our safety clearances can be fatal,” he added.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 23, 2013.