MANILA (Updated 9:15 a.m.) -- Power supply in the entire Luzon is now back to normal, as Manila Electric Company (Meralco) already restored 100 percent of its distribution circuits, radio reports said.
The entire Luzon suffered a total blackout on Wednesday and Thursday due to the onslaught of Typhoon Basyang, which also left 38 people dead and 47 others missing, according to the National Disaster Coordinating Council.
Teresa Adriano, spokesperson of Meralco, said in a radio dzBB report that they are expecting high power reserves and there will be no rotating brownouts for today, Friday, as the supply of energy from the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) is already enough.
She said the power supply was restored at 100 percent as of 5 p.m. Thursday.
However, Joe Zaldarriaga, Meralco's external communications chief, said they are still fixing some "local troubles" but the work will be done within the day.
He assured that Meralco crew will work double time to be able to fix the local troubles at the soonest time possible.
Meralco, whose franchise includes Metro Manila and some parts of Quezon, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Bulacan, Batangas and Pampanga, earlier implemented manual load dropping, particularly in Metro Manila areas, to balance the available supply and demand of power.
The power firm also announced Thursday three-hour rotating brownouts due to the insufficient power supply coming from NGCP's transmission lines.
But Zaldarriaga said that about 4.4 million of power customers in areas serviced by Meralco already had electricity as of Thursday.
"If a customer, therefore, notices that power has already been restored in their neighborhood but their residence continues to be without electricity, then this may be due to a localized trouble. This may be caused by a problem specific to the line connecting to them, among other possibilities. An example of this may be a downed pole or branches of trees hanging on electric lines," he said.
He advised the customers in such isolated cases to report their concern to Meralco's call center at 16211.
While power in Luzon is already back to normal, the NGCP is still reviewing the possible interconnection of the Visayas and Mindanao grids.
Guillermo Redoblado, NGCP senior technical adviser, said they have already formed a technical working group that will study the interconnection of Leyte and Mindanao.
The project is estimated to cost P18 billion.
"A team is working on it. The project still needs approval of the Energy Department and the Energy Regulatory Commission although it's still in the pipeline," Redoblado told reporters.
The interconnection project, which aims to address the power shortage in Mindanao, was suggested by former Energy secretary Jose Ibazeta to incumbent Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras.
"We formed a technical team for that...who will present it to the National Grid board for approval," Redoblado added.
He said they are also hopeful that the Leyte-Mindanao project will be included in the latest Transmission Development Plan.
The project includes 455 kilometers long overhead line and 23-km submarine cable with a maximum depth of around 1,000 meters below sea level.
Originally, the interconnection project was designed for 250 kilovolt high-voltage density cable bipolar link with a total transfer capacity of 500 MW to 800 MW.
The project will start from the existing Ormoc Converter Station in Leyte and terminates at Kirahon Converter station in Northcentral Mindanao via Southern Leyte and Northeastern Mindanao.
The National Transmission Corporation earlier planned to fast-track the implementation of the Leyte-Mindanao project to 2008 instead of the original 2011 target date to help resolve the imminent power shortage in Mindanao. (MSN/Sunnex)