The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) will start to use on Saturday its two newly built special towers that will transmit power from Leyte to mainland Bohol, replacing facilities toppled by Typhoon “Odette” in December.
NGCP Visayas spokesperson Betty Martinez said the two towers located in President Carlos P. Garcia (PCPG) and Ubay towns will be energized at 6 p.m. following a 14-hour, province-wide power shutdown to pave the way for final works on the facilities.
Meanwhile, the NGCP’s emergency restoration systems (ERS) which have temporarily been relaying power to Bohol from Leyte will be cut off.
“Once the power resumes, permanent [tower] na ang [gamiton], then ang ERS e-cut na,” Martinez said.
Martinez assured that the new towers will be able to withstand stronger winds and will be sturdier than the ones that collapsed during the height of Odette’s onslaught on December 16 and the temporary towers or ERS.
“Kanang ERS intended lang gyud for emergency situations, it’s working but it’s not as sturdy as the permanent towers which is bag-o ang design, we’re using the 500-kilovolt tower design, kadtong sauna 138 man to, and this one mas higher ang wind capacity,” Martinez said.
Construction of the towers was carried out by a private contractor, while the NGCP worked on the temporary towers that transmitted power to Bohol from Leyte starting February 9.
According to Martinez, they have yet to get an estimate for the total cost of the establishment of the new towers.
Expenses for the construction are expected be passed on to power distributors then to consumers.
“ERC (Energy Regulatory Commission) will determine ang recovery scheme. On our power bill to BLCI and BOHECO will specifically reflect as force majeure charges or packaged siya as a whole as transmission charges,” said Martinez.
However, it will take a “long time” before the charges will reflect on power bills as the ERC will have to look into the matter first.
“Dugay pa na, mag-hearing pa na. I dont even think na na-file na namo, so e-consolidate pa na tanang expenses,” she added.
Last Sunday, power was also shut down across Bohol for the NGCP’s stringing of wires for the new towers between mainland Bohol in Ubay and PCPG.
“The shutdown on the 9th is for the final tapping and energization. Adtong April 3, nagsugod tong stringing using pilot ropes and cable from one tower to another across the channel,” said Martinez.
Martinez noted that the power shutdown is necessary for the safety of the linemen working on the towers.
“There’s a tendency na magswing ang cable. We will not take risk for the safety of our personnel or the contractor’s personnel mao e-shut down gyud nato kay kuyaw man,” said Martinez.
She added that Bohol’s three distribution utilities used the hours-long power outage to also work on their respective facilities damaged by the typhoon. (ad)