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Quake damages 6 NGCP Substation transformers in Ormoc

TACLOBAN CITY, July 11 — The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) on Tuesday bared plans to transport transformers from Cebu to replace the damaged devices at their Substation in Ormoc.

Ma Edna Legaspina, head of communication department for Eastern Visayas in a message, said that as of July 11, 2:00 p.m., the NGCP when testing their Ormoc Substation found out that all six transformers in the NGCP facility have been damaged.

If the damaged transformers are replaced, the NGCP will accommodate excess power supply from Cebu and distribute it to affected areas of Bohol, Samar, Leyte and Biliran Islands.

The NGCP is also coordinating with the Energy Development Corporation (EDC) in the preparation for the energization of EDC’s Marshalling substation.

“Once EDC completes testing and receives feedback power, the Upper Mahiao and Malitbog geothermal plants, with a combined capacity of 129.5 MegaWatts (MW), will be energized and ready to supply power after 16-18 hours of preparation, to be counted from the time feedback power is received,” NGCP official said.

Test is also ongoing at Ormoc High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) switching station to allow power sharing from Luzon to Visayas.

The inclement weather in Ormoc and Kananga area may also delay the restoration activities to ensure safety of linemen and high voltage equipment for repair are highly sensitive to motion and moisture.

With this recent development from the NGCP, all 11 Electric Cooperatives have requested and demanded from the NGCP to provide ancillary power supply through provisions of power barges with 3 x 20 MW capacity coming from Cebu and Iloilo. This was said in a meeting of the Federation of Rural Electric Cooperatives in Region 8 (FRECOR 8) held Tuesday afternoon.

The FRECOR 8 officials headed by their President Atty. Emmanuel Saño said that “as there is no definite date forecasted for the said transformer repairs, the Electric Cooperatives are now constrained to procure emergency mobile/ modular gen-sets to temporarily provide power to its suffering consumers.”

FRECOR 8 Member Coops are constrained to request the Department of Energy, Energy Regulatory Commission and the NGCP for a review and re-study the transmission Development Plan of NGCP and find alternative ways to calamity-proof its transmission facilities.

The electric cooperatives have requested National Electrification Administration (NEA) Administrator Edgardo Masongsong to work for more resolute efforts to solve the crisis. FRECOR 8 has also sought the assistance and endorsement of the Regional Development Council 8 for a declaration of “State of Emergency” in Region 8 due to the unsolved power outage.

Saño added that they are sorry to inform the general public and its 600,000 member consumers that they are forced to “declare a State of Emergency” for the 11 Electric Cooperatives in Leyte, Samar and Biliran Provinces due to the foregoing power outage.

With the ongoing problem on power supply, Biliran Congressman Rogelio Espina is urging the Biliran Electric Cooperative to utilize locally generated electricity.

Espina said one of the reasons of the continuous blackouts is the difficulty of repairing connection lines from far-flung sources of imported electricity into the province.

Sourcing local electricity will mean direct connections to the cooperatives which will result in lesser blackouts, Espina explained.

Like Leyte, Biliran is rich in natural resources and have recently welcomed investments from renewable energy companies.

While NGCP faces problem on it transformers, their personnels are on the double-time in putting-up the Emergency Restoration Structure (ERS) to temporarily replace the damaged tower after the strong earthquake on July 6.

The leaning tower located in Brgy Aguiting in Kananga town at NGCP’s Ormoc-Tongonan 138kV line was affected by the 6.4 magnitude earthquake resulting for a total power outage in Eastern Visayas and some part of Visayas Region. (Roel T. Amazona/PNA)

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