El Niño blamed for Cagayan de Oro blackouts

AN OFFICIAL of Cagayan de Oro Electric Power and Light Company Inc. (Cepalco) on Thursday said drought brought about by the El Niño phenomenon have severely affected Mindanao’s hydropower sources.

The dry spell brought Mindanao’s power deficit to 150 megawatts (MW), resulting to a new round of rotational blackouts in the city.

"Mao kini mga rason ngano there is reduction of supply and monitoring sa National Grid Corporation of Philippines (NGCP) is done in an hourly basis," Ralph Paguio, Cepalco senior vice president, said.

Paguio, however, said that power curtailment will not be implemented when power supply is available.

“We will not curtail if we are not called upon by NGCP, we are trying to rotate para dili mabun-og ang usa ka grupo," Paguio said.

"Kung dili ta tawagon sa NGCP nga mag-reduce dili nato ipadayon ang pagpalong sa kuryente kung naa pud sakto nga supply," Paguio said.

Paguio said the modular plant of Mindanao Energy Systems Inc. (Minergy) is already supplying 10MW to Cepalco, making the problem a bit lighter.

Approved PSA

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has already approved the provisional authority under the Power Supply Agreement (PSA) between Cepalco and Minergy last month.

"Last October, pa ta nag-apply ani and finally na-approve na gyud last month. So, ga-andar na siya mao nga kung naa man gani interruption minos ra," Paguio said.

Should the power crisis continue to worsen, Cepalco will still be able to utilize the Interruptible Load Program (ILP) to continue to serve its consumers, Paguio said, adding that Cepalco has other power sources that would lessen the effect of power shortage in Mindanao.

Power interruptions

Saturday, April 16

In its advisory, Cepalco identified areas in Cagayan de Oro City that will be affected by rotational blackouts this weekend.

Cepalco announced a 12-hour power interruption on Saturday due to a request of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-Northern Mindanao for the relocation of electric post located at Bugo-Casinglot Boundary at Alae bridge affected by their road widening project.

The interruption will start from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. affecting customers that includes Cagayan Corn Products, Nestle Philippines Inc., in Tablon, Alwana in Cugman, Limketkai mall, Lapasan, Gaisano City at CM Recto Avenue and Limket kai Mill in Puntod.

Section circuit-affected areas include Sitio Tubod and Villa San Juan, Casinglot Tagoloan, Petron Depot, Tagoloan, Barangay Bugo, Ravidas Compound, Sitio Sapong and Palalan at Tablon, Alwana Village, AJ Wood, Iglesia ni Cristo and Cugman Police Station at Cugman Highway.

Another three hours switching will be implemented at 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., which affects Del Monte Philippines Inc. in Bugo and HCH Corporation in Tagoloan.

Also affected in the switching are Tagoloan, El Mundo to Casinglot, former Lina Holdings, All of Puerto, Tin-ao Agusan, Greater portion of Tablob, Baloy, Gusa, Lapasan, and Agora market area, Greater portion of Cugman and city poblacion, Divisoria area, Cogon market area, Nazareth, Macasandig, Taguanao, Puntod and Macabalan, Kauswgana Highway including RER Phase 1 and 2, Patag, Bulua, Iponan, Carmen, Calamansi Drive to Villarin St up to Madonna Hospital, Upper Carmen, Upper Balulang and Lumbia.

Sunday, April 17

The NGCP has advised Cepalco of a scheduled power interruption on Sunday, as NGCP will facilitate line maintenance works along its Lugait-Cagayan de Oro line.

Cepalco, however, will be transferring the affected areas to another sub-station, hence only 30 minutes switching interruptions will be experienced in affected areas.

Switching interruption time will start from 4 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Affected areas include greater portion of Carmen proper, vicinities along Vamenta Blvd. from Fernandez St. toward greater part of Ilaya including portions of Ipil St. and Mahogany St. from Fernandez St. Seriña St. from COA toward Gumamela Ext., Guani Coliseum and Maharlika headquarters, all of Macanhan, toward all of lower Balulang, all of Kauswagan proper, Bonbon and Bayabas, along Montalban St. from near Tiano Bros. St. toward Burgos St., del Pilar St., and Magsaysay St. including portions of Macahambus St. and Abellanosa St. from Burgos St., portions of Antonio Luna St. at the Capitol side from corner Corrales Avenue toward vicinities along Apolinar Velez St., up to corner Mabini St. including portion of Macahambus St. from Apolinar Velez St. and Tiano Bros. St. from Macahambus St.

Cepalco said power will be immediately restored without further notice following the maintenance works.
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