Right-of-way issue stalls NGCP repairs: Longer blackouts loom in Mindanao

by Danessa O. Rivera – January 1, 2016 – 12:00am

from The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Mindanao faces the prospect of longer rotational blackouts at the start of the year as worsening right-of-way (ROW) issues continue to stall restoration work on bombed towers, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) said.

The grid operator said Tower 25 along Agus 2- Kibawe 138kv line in Ramain, Lanao del Sur remained toppled due to failed negotiation with the owner of the property where the facility is located, keeping two units of the Agus Hydroelectric Power Plant (HEPP) isolated from the Mindanao grid.

“The landowner refused NGCP entry to repair the toppled tower alleging that government failed to pay his claims long ago,” NGCP said.

The said tower was bombed last Dec. 24, causing Agus 1 and 2 HEPP, with as much as 150 megawatts (MW), to be cut off from the Mindanao grid.

“Failure to restore the tower will further aggravate the supply deficiency in the region. Longer rotational power interruptions may be expected,” NGCP warned.

To prevent aggravating the power situation in Mindanao, the grid operator is appealing to the public, local government, PNP, and AFP 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 to prevent longer power interruptions.

In other locations, NGCP said its line personnel will continue to restore the transmission facilities damaged by Typhoon Nona this holiday season.

Linemen in North Luzon and Visayas are working round the clock to restore the Cabanatuan-San Isidro 69-kv line in Nueva Ecija, Bangabon-Baler 69-kv line in Aurora and Palanas-Cara-Catarman 69-kv line in Northern Samar, it said.

The three lines suffered the most during the passage of Typhoon Nona, leaving 342 transmission structures either washed-out, toppled, leaning, or with broken parts.

Transmission repairs were slowed down by flooding and landslides, especially in North Luzon. Going to the transmission sites poses a challenge as roads were unpassable due to landslides.

“NGCP remains committed to restore the lines the soonest possible time. We are working 24/7, even during the holidays to ensure that we will finish the repairs before the year ends,” NGCP said.