Governor Art Yap on Thursday announced that it may take until April, 2022 for power services to normalize in the province based on the assessment of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) which is set to replace two typhoon-stricken towers that transmit power from Leyte to Bohol’s distribution utilities (DU).
“Kung tatanuning natin yung NGCP, to fix their two towers in Ubay, that’s still going to take until April, so we have to survive on power barges until that time,” said Yap in an interview over CNN Philippines’ “The Source” on Thursday.
Bohol which still does not have sufficient in-island power supply has been largely dependent on energy sources in Leyte to meet its daily power requirement of 90 megawatts (MW).
Yap noted that so far, the Power Barge 104 in Ubay has only been able to supply around 4.8 MW to limited areas under the franchises of Bohol’s three DUs.
The province has long been planning to have its own power source within the island after disasters such as storms and an earthquake previously battered Leyte including its geothermal power plants, leaving Bohol without electricity for several weeks on multiple occasions. However, the initiative has not materialized.
According to NGCP Visayas spokesperson Betty Martinez, they still have to replace two “special towers” in Ubay and President Carlos P. Garcia towns which transmit power from the Leyte-Bohol 138-kV submarine cable to the province’s DUs.
Martinez who earlier explained that the two towers were both 180 meters high or around “45 stories” said the structures were toppled by Typhoon “Odette” and needed to be replaced.
She assured that construction will start in January.
In an earlier interview, Martinez told the Chronicle that the NGCP will be needing assistance from the local government units of PCPG and Ubay to secure right-of-way for their teams to reach the tower sites.
“It is expected that there will be a lot of teams of NGCP going in and out sa repair sites. We will have people from our right of way, security, engineering, vehicles so baka naa gyuy maagian na mga properties. We’re hoping that we will be given access to properties leading to the repair sites,” said Martinez.
Pending the replacement of the gigantic towers, Bohol will have to rely on the Power Barge 104 in Ubay and the Bohol Diesel Power Plant (BBDP), both owned by the SPC Power Corporation.
However, the barge and the BBDP can generate 32 MW and 16 MW, respectively, which can meet only half of the province’s estimated daily power requirement of around 90 MW.