Power situation in quake-hit areas to improve end of July: DOE

MANILA-- Power supply in areas in the Visayas affected by last week's 6.5 magnitude earthquake will noticeably improve by the end of the month, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi told President Rodrigo Duterte, who visited Ormoc City on Thursday afternoon.

In a news release issued Friday, Cusi said the Department of Energy (DOE) has been working nonstop to normalize power in the affected areas, citing reports by the National Electrification Administration (NEA), National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), and Energy Development Corp. (EDC).

Because of the NGCP's successful restoration of Transformer 6, the energy chief said he expects a total of 309 megawatts (MW) of available capacity by July 19.

These capacities can serve the total demand of electricity for the affected areas of Region VIII (Samar and Leyte provinces) and Bohol, which is at 291 MW, he said.

DOE Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella had earlier called an emergency meeting attended by representatives of the NEA, Eastern Visayas Electric Cooperatives, NGCP and EDC to provide updates and work timelines on the power restoration.

Based on the reports, there will be available capacities coming in from the EDC-run geothermal power plants, amounting to 269 MW, and an additional 40 MW from its Tongonan geothermal power plant, for a total of 309 MW by July 19.

By the end of July, all available capacities are expected to reach 322 MW as the department continues to explore all options available for the Leyte, Samar and Bohol islands.

Meanwhile, the DOE is also coordinating with the Energy Regulatory Commission to ensure compliance of electricity service providers with the required standards and the alignment in crafting resiliency policies.

Source: Philippine News Agency