By Lenie Lectura - July 10, 2017
SOME 40 megawatts (MW) of electricity will be transported from Cebu to Samar, Leyte, Biliran and Bohol once the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) is able to successfully conclude testing of the Tabango-Ormoc bypass line.
As of 3 p.m. on July 10, testing resumed at NGCP’s Ormoc Substation. Testing was temporarily halted first by heavy rains and again by a strong aftershock felt in the area.
The ongoing trial is necessary before power is allowed to flow through the bypassed line, which was completed Sunday.
NGCP assured the public it was continuously monitoring the situation and would provide more updates as new information is available.
Officials are working hard to restore power in affected areas after a 6.5-magnitude quake recently hit the Visayas.
Geothermal power plants (GPP) of Lopez-led Energy Development Corp. (EDC) were damaged. Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said 300 MW of power-generating capacity from EDC’s plants could be restored in at least six days.
In particular, the 120-MW Tongonan plant could deliver 42 MW in seven to eight days. Another 42 MW, he said, can be delivered by September 1 and the delivery of the last 42 MW could take 50 days.
Earlier, officials from the Department of Energy, led by Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi, inspected the affected plants. These are the 180-MW Mahanagdong GPP; 230-MW Malitbog GPP, 120-MW Tongonan GPP and 120-MW Upper Mahiao GPP.
These power plants have seven other optimizing plants in their system with an additional generation of 50 MW.
As of July 9, EDC said one unit each of both the Tongonan and Malitbog power plants will need to be on extended outage for repair works on damage to the structures of their respective cooling tower units.
In addition to the plants, visible damage to a number of circuit breakers, current transformers and other ancillary switchyard equipment in EDC’s marshaling station have been noted. The needed spares are already on site and restoration work for the facility has commenced over the weekend.
Cusi said his office is focusing on the immediate restoration of power in affected areas.
“Leyte needs roughly 250 MW. We need to put back 300 MW. Hopefully, we will be able to put that back soon. The problem is the five plants that were damaged. NGCP and EDC are working overtime to expedite the restoration . Our timeline is 10 days,” Cusi said.