Published July 12, 2017, 10:01 PM By Myrna M. Velasco
PHINMA Energy Corporation will be augmenting power supply in the earthquake-stricken domains in the Visayas grid by close to 40 megawatts from its power barges that could be deployed into the area.
This will be in response to the request of the Department of Energy (DoE) for the company to help in the immediate provision of power supply in Leyte, Samar and Bohol that have been technically “plunged into the dark” after last week’s hit of natural disaster.
According to PHINMA Energy President Fancisco L. Viray, the company could deploy their power barges of four generating units with 5.5MW capacity each; and another barge of three generating units with the same 5.5MW capacity each.
Altogether, that could shore up power supply in the grid by 38.5MW – and could already be a big boost to an area that is already experiencing the pain and distress of blackouts.
Nevertheless, Viray noted there are logistical concerns that they would need to hurdle before they can move the barges to the site where power supply is needed.
He admitted “the need (for supply from the barges) could be overtaken by the repair of the geothermal facilities in Leyte and the transmission lines.”
Viray qualified that “it takes time to construct infrastructure for the mooring site, transmission line and permitting requirements.”
The energy department indicated that it is pushing for fast-track rehabilitation of the damaged power facilities – primarily the geothermal generating facilities of Energy Development Corporation (EDC) and the transmission facilities under the charge of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.
“The DoE has a 10-day timeline to restore power supply,” has been the marching order set out by Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi, while emphasizing that “the people are working double time to repair necessary energy facilities.”