Target date to restore power in quake-hit Visayas moved to July 19

MANILA-- The restoration of power in Leyte, Samar and Bohol islands may take longer than initially projected, the spokesperson of the Department of Energy (DOE) said Wednesday.

In a press briefing held during the E-Power Mo Conference at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella cited a report from the Energy Development Corp. (EDC) stating that during the testing of the Tongonan geothermal power plant, a mechanical problem was discovered and the company decided to postpone its operation from July 16 to July 19.

Once operational, the Tongonan power plant will be able to supply 40 megawatts (MW) to quake-affected areas without going through the Ormoc substation.

The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) also discovered that Transformers 2 and 5, which were initially assessed as intact, were damaged internally and would not be able to handle the 40 MW coming from the Tongonan power plant, said Fuentebella.

The NGCP is currently dismantling its transformers in Cebu to be transported to the Ormoc substation to enable it to transmit an additional 120 MW that would be generated from either Luzon or Cebu and other power plants.

Fuentebella said the NGCP has estimated the process to take until the end of July or Aug. 1 to complete.

The 120 MW that will pass through the Ormoc substation, combined with the 40 MW from the Tongonan power plant, will amount to 160 MW or 55 percent of the 291 MW required by the affected provinces.

This recent disaster is another good reason for us to hold dialogues, like the 'E-Power Mo' Conference, together with partner agencies, stakeholders and industry players for us to build up our energy resiliency, Fuentebella said.

We were prepared for a major storm but instead, we were struck by a strong earthquake, which we were not quite prepared for.

Source: Philippines News Agency