Not so much relying on the “by-pass” work considering the sustained damages on the Leyte power facilities, Gov. Edgar Chatto this afternoon meet with two power barge owners to ensure interim electricity Bohol-wide the quickest time
Department of Energy (DOE) Sec. Alfonso Cusi yesterday reiterated to Chatto his full support to assign even two power barges to Bohol if necessary while the restoration works in Leyte may yet take long.
Direct agreement on the terms and conditions on power barge commissioning will be among the owners and the local power distribution utilities (DUs), which are the Bohol Electric Cooperatives (BOHECO I and II) and Bohol light Company, Inc. (BLCI).
But at the meeting of the Bohol Energy Development Advisory Group (BEDAG) which he called as soon as he arrived from foreign trip yesterday, the governor assured the officials of the DUs of the full government facilitation of the negotiation to final sealing.
Held at the Governor’s Mansion this afternoon, the critical conference will be attended by the officials of power barge company owners Trans-Asia and Salcon.
The availability of another barge stationed in Iloilo may also be discussed.
The local DUs will be represented by BOHECO I gen. man. Dino Nicolas Roxas, BOHECO II Gen. Man. Eugene Tan, and BLCI Gen. Man. Eulogio Signe.
The governor already directed the DUs and the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) to re-check the identified possible mooring sites in Maribojoc, Cortes and Ubay.
SUBSTANTIAL EMERGENCY POWER
With two power barges, Bohol’s 79-megawatt requirement can be “substantially” met even if the supply of the electricity is emergency and interim until the power from Leyte is fully restored.
As of yesterday’s BEDAG meeting, officials of the DUs said the Bohol diesel power plant in Dampas here and the Hanopol, Sevilla and Loboc hydro-power facilities combined a generation output of 20.2 megawatts.
The power barge of Salcon which is currently stationed in Davao and that of Trans-Asia which is moored in Mactan can generate at least 26 megawatts and 20 megawatts, respectively, or a total of 46 megawatts, although they each has a 32-megawatt capacity.
MAJOR LEYTE RESTORATION OBSTABCLES
Even if the supply of electricity is still emergency or temporary, Bohol’s “total” power restoration by by-pass was yesterday expected to be attained by July 16.
But the NGCP later admitted the improbability as three of its four 138 kilovolts substation transformers in Ormoc are still unserviceable due to the sustaining damages following the strong earthquake.
By by-pass or “detour,” the 240 kilovolts power transmitted from Cebu to Leyte will no longer pass through the marshalling station because and its ancillaries have also sustained major damages.
Another 69 kilovots transformer was also damaged, further meaning that even if the detoured Cebu power gets available through the newly-constructed by-pass line, the electricity cannot be transmitted yet to the consumers as of the time being.
The electricity from Cebu must pass through these substations before they can be delivered through the 138 kilovolts transmission line and safely used by the consumers.
With all these hindering, plus the yet uncertain length of time until the whole Leyte power system is fully restored, the use of power barge is deemed seriously needed, urgent.
While power in BOHECO I and BLCI areas have been rationed, blackout still plagues the entire 21-town service area of BOHECO II.
After the latest major technical problems in Leyte were known, Chatto received a text message from Cusi for Bohol to proceed with the option of using a power barge.
STRONG CONSTANT COORDINATION
Tightly coordinating since first hour of the blackout after the Leyte tremor Thursday, the governor and the energy secretary again talked by mobile phone right while Chatto presided the BEDAG Meeting.
Cusi is awaiting the final arrangement which may be agreed at this afternoon’s meeting with the officials or key representatives of the two energy companies owning the two power barges.
“Just tell me what to lobby for with what agencies,” a firm Chatto told the Boheco I and II and BLCI officials yesterday on the power barge commissioning.
During their phone talk, Cusi told Chatto he (the energy secretary) would himself secure the necessary approvals from the secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Energy Regulatory Commission.
While still in Canada, the governor already coordinated with PENRO Salem Quiwag and Cortes Mayor Iven Lim on the possible use of the Abatan river mooring site where a Napocor facility was then stationed.
Cusi and Chatto further talked of the possibility of defraying the expenses of the transport of the barge—or two barges—tapping the support of the National Disaster Coordinating Council.
In this afternoon’s important negotiation, Chatto said he will find means for lest cost in using the power barges but which is still amenable to the owners for a reasonable add-on rate, which is automatic, to the consumers.