Mindanao stakeholders meet to resolve transmission woes

By: Riza T. Olchondra – 12:22 AM February 5th, 2016

from Philippine Daily Inquirer

Top energy officials and stakeholders met in Davao Thursday to resolve the right of way (ROW) and security woes hampering the operation of Mindanao’s transmission lines.

Yesterday’s meeting saw the creation of the Interagency Task Force on the Security of Energy Facilities, composed of government offices and security agencies, to address the problems affecting the operation of the National Grid Corp. (NGCP).

Among others, the military and the police were tasked to review a memorandum of agreement with NGCP to promote community policing in certain hotspots. Legal processes would also be reviewed to facilitate the entry of NGCP personnel in private lands to maintain and/or repair transmission towers.

Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) chair Luwalhati Antonino said: “We must immediately address issues on ROW and easements to further prevent unwarranted power disruptions and ensure the steady supply of power in the grid.”

“This meeting is crucial as it will allow us to craft plans and initiatives that will mitigate and prevent similar transmission-related problems in the future,” Antonino said. Antonino is also co-chair of the Mindanao Power Monitoring Committee (MPMC), which is tasked to coordinate the efforts of national and local governments to improve the power situation in Mindanao.

Antonino explained that although Mindanao is currently enjoying a steady supply of power for the first time in about 10 years, prevailing issues affecting the transmission towers in Mindanao could hamper this supply outlook.

In January this year, NGCP reported that 18 towers experienced security attacks. The incidents involved towers No. 19, 20, 21, 13, 25 and 50 of the Agus 2-Kibawe 138 KV transmission lines. Transmission tower No. 4 of the Baloi-Agus 2 138 KV transmission lines and the transmission tower No. 63 of Kabacan-Sultan Kudarat 138 KV transmission lines also experienced security attacks.

“The recent attacks on towers No. 20 and 25 created a dent in the power supply of Mindanao, which isolated the Agus 1 and 2 hydropower plants that produce about 260 megawatts (MW),” Antonino earlier said.