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Power back in Tacloban, parts of Leyte but supply still unstable

By: - Correspondent / @joeygabietaINQ
/ 05:00 AM July 15, 2017

TACLOBAN CITY—Power was restored in this city and some parts of Leyte province on Thursday night after the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) supplied 43 megawatts to a local electric cooperative a week after the province was hit by a 6.5-magnitude earthquake.

Christopher Garcia, Leyte II Electric Cooperative (Leyeco II) information officer, said the 43-MW load capacity from NGCP was enough to supply power to its service area covering Tacloban City and the towns of Palo and Babatngon.

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But energy officials asked consume to expect power interruptions as they would resort to load shedding (distributing demand for power across power sources) and power rotation since supply was still short of the 210 MW needed in the region.

On Friday morning, Leyeco II announced that its power allocation was reduced back to 13 MW by NGCP due to shortage of supply.

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Garcia said load shedding was expected to occur because the power supply in the region, which had 11 electric cooperatives, was not yet stable.

Edna Legaspina, NGCP spokesperson, said NGCP received 28 MW of power from three different sources on Thursday, allowing them to supply electricity to some parts of Leyte, Southern Leyte and Biliran provinces. Of the total, about 10 MW came from a plant in Cebu province and 9 MW each from the Malitbog and Tongonan plants.

The load, however, was not enough to provide electricity to other areas in Leyte, like the town of Jaro, the epicenter of the July 6 earthquake that disrupted power supply in the Eastern Visayas region, Bohol province and parts of Cebu.

Legaspina assured consumers that power would be restored in other areas in the region within the week.

She clarified that the restoration of power in the cities of Tacloban and Ormoc was not timed or had nothing to do with the visit of President Duterte on Thursday.

“Nagkataon lang (It was coincidental),” Legaspina said.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi told the President in a briefing on Thursday that power would be fully restored in the area by the end of July.

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Cusi said an additional 40 MW would be released to the Visayas grid on July 16 and another 90 MW on July 19.

“By July 31, power will be fully restored,” Cusi said.

The region has been reeling from brownouts after the earthquake that hit Leyte last week damaged and shut down power plants supplying the Visayas grid.

Among those affected by the quake were the geothermal power plants of the Energy Development Corp. (EDC) in Ormoc City.

EDC earlier estimated that it could deliver 317 MW to the Visayas grid by July 16 when repairs would be finished.

Bonifacio Uy, regional director of the National Economic and Development Authority, placed the daily losses from the outages to reach at least P300 million.

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TAGS: Leyte, power, Tacloban
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