Mindanao at risk of possible power-grid collapse–NGCP

by Lenie Lectura – January 6, 2016

from Business Mirror

The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) warned on Wednesday that Mindanao faces a possible grid collapse should the remaining transmission line that delivers power from the Agus hydroelectric power plant sustains a technical glitch.

NGCP Spokesman Cynthia Alabanza, in a text message, said brownouts would likely happen when the grid collapses. “It’s the kind that takes several hours to recover from restoration. It’s like restarting a smartphone. So, it takes time,” she said when sought for comment.

In an advisory issued by the grid operator, the Maramag-Bunawan 138-kiloVolt (kV) line is the remaining line that currently delivers power from the Agus Hydro Complex. If the said line is, in any way, compromised, no power will flow from the remaining Agus hydro facilities to south of Mindanao where the bulk of power demand is located.

Both Davao and General Santos cities are in the south, and are in real danger of being completely cut off from the bulk supply coming from the hydro facilities, the NGCP warned.

There is only one transmission line left because the NGCP has yet to repair the Agus 2-Kibawe 138-kV line.

Agus 1 and 2 hydro facilities are connected to the grid through Agus 2-Kibawe 138-kV line.

The NGCP has yet to restore bombed Tower#25 along said Agus 2-Kibawe 138-kV line in Ramain, Lanao del Sur, due to uncooperative land owners. The line has been unserviceable since Christmas Eve when it was bombed by still-unidentified lawless elements.

The NGCP will shoulder the cost of repairing the damaged facilities, but this will eventually be passed on to the consumers as authorized by the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001. The grid operator has yet to file an application on this.

The owners of the property identified as Johnny, Intan and Naguib, all surnamed Sambitori, refused the NGCP entry to repair the damaged transmission facility.

Negotiations with the Sambitoris were unsuccessful because the owners alleged that the government failed to pay their claims long ago, the NGCP said.

On Wednesday the NGCP has again placed Mindanao on red alert from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. with contingency reserves at zero megawatts due to the isolation of National Power Corp.-owned generating facilities Agus 1 and 2 hydropower plants.

A red alert is issued when there is zero contingency reserve.

The NGCP is appealing to the public, local and national government, Philippine National Police and Armed Force of the Philippines to help monitor the safety of the towers so that transmission services remain uninterrupted.

The company also appeals to local community leaders to help identify the perpetrators of the bombings, and to negotiate with uncooperative landowners, to prevent longer power interruptions.

The NGCP legally holds the right- of-way in the areas near and around the transmission towers and posts. The assets, however, are still government-owned. The NGCP is a privately owned corporation in charge of operating, maintaining and developing the country’s power grid.

The consortium, which holds the 25-year concession contract to operate the country’s power-transmission network, is comprised of Monte Oro Grid Resources Corp. led by Henry Sy Jr., Calaca High Power Corp. led by Robert Coyiuto Jr., and the State Grid Corp. of China as technical partner.