The National Electrification Administration (NEA) has organized the Power Restoration Rapid Deployment (PRRD) task force to assist the quake-struck electric cooperatives (ECs) in Visayas, Administrator Edgardo Masongsong said over the weekend.
Masongsong likewise stated that the mechanism for a quick response fund is already being drafted in aid of power coops with ravaged facilities per the instruction of Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.
“The NEA has mobilized the PRRD task force to make sure that power is restored in the quake-hit towns of Leyte and its neighboring areas sooner rather than later. I am also constantly in touch with the general managers of all the concerned ECs to check on their progress,” he said.
Latest ground information from NEA Deputy Administrator engineer Artis Nikki Tortola said that all ECs in Eastern Visayas provinces and Bohol still experience blackouts even though no significant damage has been reported in their distribution systems.
Thus far, they are awaiting energization from the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) and other providers such as the Energy Development Corporation (EDC) whose power plant in Ormoc, Leyte was shut down shortfly after the quake.
NGCP said it has expedited the construction of a bypass line connecting its Tabango and Ormoc substations, which would carry power from Cebu to the affected islands of Leyte, Samar, Bohol and Biliran.
Update from Leyte V Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Leyeco V) said its 5MVA Tambis substation in Tabango, which was originally intended to cater to just three municipalities, has been spread out to cover the towns of Calubi-an, Matag-ob, Kananga and soon Palompon.
Leyeco V general manager engineer Juanito Jorda, Jr. thus advised all electricity consumers within its franchise area to conserve power amid a low voltage currently being experienced in the affected villages to avoid rotational brownout.
“Please minimize the use of electricity during day time and use only necessary lights and appliances at night time. Avoid using air conditioning units, freezers, rice cookers, electric irons and other energy-hungry appliances at this time,” Jorda said.
Meanwhile, the Department of Energy (DOE) also directed National Power Corporation (NPC) to run its diesel plant to augment electricity supply in Bohol. The NEA is closely monitoring its potential impact on the rates to ensure that customers would not be placed in further disadvantage.
According to Bohol I Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Boheco I) general manager engineer Dino Nicolas Roxas, price variance is pegged at more or less P3 per kilowatt hour compared to their average rate at this point and it cannot address their total demand.
In his text message to the NEA chief, Roxas said Boheco I has a peak demand of 34 megawatts (MW). The NPC diesel power plant right now may generate only 16 MW and private distribution utility firm Bohol Light Company, Inc. also plans to utilize the same.
“Based on our conversation with the plant manager, they will share the available power to the utilities in Bohol. We can also run our hydro plants (around 7 MW capacity) if we have already feedback power coming from the diesel power plant,” Roxas assured nonetheless.