'Pablo' pummels transmission lines in Mindanao, Visayas

December 4, 2012 11:00 pm 

MANILA, Dec. 4 — Strong winds and rains spawned by Typhoon “Pablo” toppled major transmission lines in different parts of Mindanao and the Visayas early Tuesday morning, the National Transmission Grid Corporation said Tuesday.

In a series of updates this morning, the NGCP reported that among the 13 transmission lines that tripped, eight were 69-kV lines while five were 138-kV lines. As of 11 a.m., none of the transmission lines have been restored.

Customers within the franchise areas of electric cooperatives SURSECO, DORECO, ASELCO, PHILSAGA MINING and DANECO were among those affected.

The NGCP said that its Bislig Substation in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur was “isolated from grid” due to tripping of the Bislig-Nabunturan and Bislig-San Francisco 138-kilovolt (kV) lines.

“The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) continues to monitor and inspect transmission lines and other facilities affected by the passage of Typhoon Pablo,” the company said in a statement.

According to NGCP, the Zamboanga Peninsula was cut off from the power grid after the Agus 5-Aurora 138-kV line tripped at around 9:24 a.m. Tuesday. “The WMPC (Western Mindanao Power Corporation) Power Plant is now on island mode operation to give power to Zamboanga City.”

Affected grid customers include Moelci, 1 & 11, Zaneco, Zamcelco, Zamzureco 1 & 2, and Laneco. The Zamboanga Peninsula, Misamis Occidental and part of Lanao del Norte were among the areas affected.

The NGCP acknowledged the brownouts in the affected areas, noting that the outages may be caused by affected transmission facilities of the corporation or distribution facilities of local distribution utilities (DUs).

But Milfrance Capulong, NGCP Mindanao Corporate Communications officer, said the corporation does not have any information as to the total number of homes without power due to the typhoon, since they “are only doing power transmission services”.

Capulong said that only the electric cooperatives or DUs in the specific cities or municipalities in the region would know how many homes experienced power interruption.

The DU allots the available power within its franchise area and implements the power interruption schedule among the end-users, the power grid operator said.

”Necessary preparations and precautions have been implemented to minimize the impact of the storm on NGCP operation and facilities,” the NGCP’s statement read.

These include ensuring the availability of hardware materials and supplies necessary for the repair of facilities as well as the positioning of line crews in strategic areas to facilitate immediate restoration work.

“Aerial patrol, inspection, and restoration of lines in the affected areas will be in full swing today as soon as the weather allows,” it said.(PNA)

FPV/BGJR/UTB

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