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DOE sees power restoration in quake-hit Visayas ahead of schedule

MANILA, July 10 — The Department of Energy (DOE) is optimistic that it will able to restore power in earthquake-affected Visayas ahead of its 10-day timeline.

In an interview with ANC, Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said this estimated timeline may be moved to an earlier date.

”The 10 days has certain allowances. That is based on the report of the Energy Development Corporation (EDC) personnel that attended the Regional Development Council meeting that was held in Tacloban,” Fuentebella said.

In a meeting chaired by Mayor Cristina Romualdez, it was determined that a total of 210 megawatts (MW) will be needed for the 11 electric cooperatives for Region 8 based on reports from the National Electrification Authority (NEA) and reports from the Electric Cooperative Association of Region 8.

This same power will be delivered to the Ormoc substation which is a critical facility currently undergoing testing based on updates from the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).

Fuentebella also indicated that the target is to deliver 317 megawatts from the EDC geothermal power plant, by day 10.

”So, what we are doing is that the NGCP is constructing, design, constructed and they’re now testing the bypass line so that the power can be delivered to the 210 megawatts and the 40 megawatts in addition for Bohol, and then, next, we are coordinating the efforts of NGCP and the EDC Geothermal power plant so that interoperability of the systems, generation and transmission can also be aligned and the RDC conducted yesterday, they are looking into coming up with an institutional RDC power sectors sub-committee so that they can have more resiliency and flexibility in times of calamities and responses,” Fuentebella said.

”Bohol needs 40 megawatts (MW), there is the distribution utility which is the Bohol Light Company Incorporated. It services Tagbilaran City, the demand there is 24 megawatts so what are they doing? They have 16 megawatts from Bohol Diesel Power Plant and they have an arrangement between the LCI and Bohol Diesel Power Plant where about PHP2/kwh plus tax on cost will be charged. And it’s a go but the application for provisional authority is with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC),” Fuentebella said.

“The good thing about Bohol, is that they have a power committee chaired by Provincial Governor Ed Chato and we are looking on how to give advice to the other provinces or other regional development council on how to go about with this,” he added.

The 40 MW needed in Bohol will be delivered through Bohol Electric Company’s (Boheco) 2 hydroelectric plants which generate a combined total of 7.5 MW. Together with BLCI’s 24 MW, the total deficit should only be less than 8MW which should eventually be filled.

Fuentebella also reported that aftershocks have had no effect on the ongoing repairs on damaged power facilities.

He also indicated that Bohol is still currently experiencing intermittent power supply but as soon as the Ormoc substation is fully operational, generators from the western side of Visayas will be able to deliver power to the eastern side.

The DOE is looking into the repair being done to the high voltage direct current (HVDC) line which connects Luzon to the Samar islands for the possibility that Luzon may be able to deliver power to Samar and Leyte.

”So far, everything is on schedule,” Fuentebella said. (AAA/PNA)

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