DOE firm on deadline but says safety comes first

MANILA-- Representatives of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) and the Energy Development Corp. (EDC) met at the Department of Energy (DOE) to consolidate their plans to restore power in quake-hit areas in the Visayas.

During a press conference at the DOE Media Center in Taguig City on Tuesday, Energy Undersecretary Wimpy Fuentebella noted that on the supply side, everything is on track as far as their deadlines are concerned, assuring that electricity for the Eastern Visayas region and Bohol will be delivered.

Fuentebella said that although the DOE has a firm deadline, their priority is still the efficient restoration of power with the least amount of sacrifice to the facilities and especially, human resources.

Schedules will move but the emphasis is on safety of the workers on the ground, he said.

EDC president, Ricky Tantoco, reported that they can only dispatch 45 megawatts (MW) to Leyte, Samar and Bohol if the NGCP's Transformers 2 and 5 are operational, since Transformers 1, 3, 4, and 6 are heavily damaged.

By July 16, there will be an additional 40 MW from the EDC's Tongonan power plant, which can be directly delivered to Leyte, Samar and Bohol without having to go through transformers for a total of 85 MW, Tantoco said.

The NGCP for its part will transfer two transformers from Cebu to replace transformers at the Ormoc substation and they will be able to dispatch 120 MW by July 31, said Engineer Franklin Mabitazan.

Fuentebella said one option being considered is the use of three power barges, each of which has a capacity of 20 MW, for a total of 60 MW, although this would be more expensive compared to power from geothermal sources.

He said Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi has already advised TransAsia, operator of the power barges, to consult with local government units and distribution utilities in the quake-affected provinces to address the gap and whether this is a go or no-go.

The best case scenario that can be expected is that 45 MW will be delivered by July 16 and the more than 200 MW needed by the region would be delivered by the end of the month, Fuentebella said. (AAA/PNA)

Photo caption: WORKERS' SAFETY FIRST. The DOE will keep its schedule to restore power in quake-hit Eastern Visayas in the most efficient and safest way, especially for its personnel. Speaking at the press conference held at the DOE Media Center in Taguig City on Tuesday (July 11, 2017) are (from left) Engr. Franklin Mabitazan of the NGCP, DOE Undersecretary Wimpy Fuentebella, and EDC President Ricky Tantoco.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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