DOE: Power from Leyte restored earlier than sched

Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso Cusi gestures during a Reuters interview at the DOE headquarters in Taguig city, Metro Manila, Philippines February 27, 2017. (Photo: Reuters)

The Department of Energy yesterday announced that power transmission has been fully restored in the three provinces of Leyte, Samar and Bohol affected by the shutdown of the geothermal plant in Leyte after a magnitude 6.5 earthquake.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi commended all those in the energy department and industry participants who contributed to attaining this achievement four days earlier than the 31 July deadline.


In its efforts to expedite the restoration of power transmission services in the earthquake-affected provinces in Visayas, NGCP energized its replacement 150MVA transformer in Ormoc Substation on July 28, ahead of the July 31 deadline set by the Department of Energy (DOE).

With this development, Boholanos are expecting the rotational brownout will no longer be experienced starting today.

Bohol has a total power requirement of 80 to 90 megawatts, of which only 20.5 mega can be supplied from the Bohol Diesel Power Plant in Dampas, and the three mini hydros in Hanopol, Sevilla and Loboc towns.  The rest of the power needed is already supplied by the Leyte Geothermal plant.

The gradual loading of power from Leyte slowly shortened the brownouts in the province to once in every three days in a shorter time at about 1 to 2 hours only.

Originally, Energy Secretary Cusi assured Gov. Edgar Chatto to have the full restoration of power in Bohol by July 31st. If the announcement made last Friday was true then we should no longer have brownouts starting tonight. 

The 150MVA transformer, and another spare 100MVA transformer, from NGCP’s Compostela Substation in Cebu was disassembled and hauled to the Ormoc Substation last July 19. Upon its arrival in Ormoc on July 20, the equipment was immediately subject to assembly and testing to ensure the reliability of equipment before commissioning. 

NGCP previously energized two out of six transformers in Ormoc Substation last July 13 and a third transformer last July 17. With the replacement transformer online, NGCP will minimize, if not eliminate, rotating power interruptions and provide a more reliable power supply to the affected islands of Leyte, Samar, Bohol, and Biliran. 

NGCP is simultaneously conducting repair on the two remaining Transformers 1 and 6 in Ormoc Substation, as well as the Luzon-Visayas High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC). NGCP exerted all efforts to expedite the delivery of needed parts for the repair of HVDC, reducing the delivery time from the usual months to just 20 days.

Since the earthquake hit Leyte last July 6, NGCP employed a simultaneous strategy of Repair, Replace, and Reconfiguration in order to normalize the transmission of power to the affected provinces before DOE’s July 31 deadline.


Even if the Leyte power resumes, the province still needs a sustainable power source , thus the request to have at least 2 barges deployed to the province. 

The 25-mega barge from SPC Power Corp which was supposed to leave General Santos City last Wednesday aborted its route for Bohol since the mooring facilities in Cortes could be accommodate the barge even with the earlier plans to place floaters. The rehabilitation work will last for two months.

Because of this situation, the mooring facilities at the Tapal Port in Ubay town are being prepared with the requirement of four kilometer power line. The three power distributors, Boheco I , Boheco II and the Bohol Light Co. are joining hands to fast track the power line installation.

The power line connection can be completed in two weeks. Once the power line starts to be worked out, the barge will depart GenSan City. However, the mooring of the 4,200 gross tonnage barge will only be temporary as it is far from the city.  

Divers were at the Cortes mooring area last Thurday to check the duration of the rehab work. The same is true for the Catagbacan, Loon cruise ship port which was also damaged by the 2016 earthquake. 

Meanwhile the barge from Trans-Asia docked in Iloilo City is also awaiting word from Bohol authorities as to the availability of mooring area.  The barge is also a 25-mega power source.

Once both barges will be commissioned here, the power requirement in the province can  now be met by the end of next year.

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