Tower blast probe on

By: Riza T. Olchondra – 12:00 AM February 22nd, 2016

from Philippine Daily Inquirer

THE 81-MEGAWATT wind farm of Ayala-led North Luzon Renewable Energy Corp. (NLREC) in Barangay Caparispisan, Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, has been cut off from the Luzon grid due to toppled towers.

An investigation is ongoing to verify if the damage was in fact due to bombing.

Maria Meliza Tuba-Principe, stakeholder relations and CSR manager of NLREC, said via e-mail that as of 1 p.m. on Saturday, the whole capacity of the wind farm was still cut-off from the Luzon grid. Two of the transmission towers of the Caparispisan project collapsed on Thursday night following an explosion in Pasuquin town, Ilocos Norte.

NLREC and the Department of Energy (DOE) have separately confirmed the incident.

On Friday night, NLREC said its wind farm in Pagudpud was disconnected from the Luzon grid due to a tripping of its interconnection facility. That took place a little after 9 p.m. on Feb. 18, 2016.

“It was determined in the early morning of Feb. 19 that two of its transmission towers in Barangay Tadao in the Municipality of Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte, had toppled,” NLREC said in a statement.

Initial investigations indicate that explosives were used to bring down the transmission towers. No one has claimed responsibility at this time. There were no facilities or injuries related to the incident, NLREC said.

The company said it would continue to work with local and national law enforcement agencies, as well as the government, in investigating the incident.

The DOE has also clarified that the towers were of NLREC and that the facilities of National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) were not directly affected.

“NLREC is now doing an investigation and coordination with NGCP, police and LGUs. They do not have a request for DOE intervention at the moment, pending result of the investigation,” DOE director Mylene Capongcol said in a text message.