Meralco seeks emergency replacement of key transformer for Manila end-users

by Myrna Velasco – August 16, 2016

from Manila Bulletin

Power utility giant Manila Electric Company (Meralco) is seeking regulatory approval for emergency installation of a power transformer to sustain power supply service to key areas in Manila.

A power transformer at the North Port substation in Tayuman had been proposed for immediate replacement due to “exploded high side bushings,” causing the facility to trip out.

And while load transfer had been initially enforced, this was just considered as band-aid remedy, and the permanent solution can only be achieved with the installation of 83-megavolt ampere (MVA), 115 kilovolt-34.5kV three-phase power transformer at the North Port substation.

The cost of the project had been pegged at P54.762 million, including costs of transformer oil, taxes, duties, brokerage, trucking services and installation.

If transformer replacement is not expeditiously implemented, it was noted that the quality of service to major and vital customers in Manila could be adversely affected.

These include the University of Sto Tomas, Chinese General Hospital, Department of Public Works and Highways, Asian Terminals Inc., Asia Brewery Inc., Philippine Ports Authority, Philippine National Railways and the City Government of Manila.

“Considering the critical effect of shifting the load of the power transformer to the adjacent North Port Bank No. 6, a stop-gap measure had to be undertaken,” Meralco stressed.

The utility firm noted it is highly important “to immediately implement he replacement of the defective transformer at North Port substation in order to serve and promote public interest and welfare in a more suitable and adequate manner.”

Meralco has emphasized that if project implementation can be carried out with dispatch, “power interruptions in the affected areas will be avoided and affected customers will not be burdened with higher line losses resulting from emergency load shifting.”

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has set public hearings on this Meralco project application on September 7 this year.

The power distribution firm said it will have several preparatory activities “before the final testing of the replaced power transformer such as fabrication of adapter bushings, draining of carbonized insulating oil, and installation of adapters and replacement of test bushings and sealing.”