By Rey Anthony Chiu | 07:15 PM April 22, 2022
In yet another convincing show of dedication to work for their service areas which were blanketed by darkness after typhoons isolated power grids, the country’s leading power transmission corporation wrapped up another excellent record of bringing back power a day before their target.
This as the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) finished in record time, restoring the four steel towers stringing the 138 kilovolt (KV) line along the Ormoc-Maasin stretch, which were damaged by typhoon Agaton, a little over midnight, April 11.
The following day, NGCP spokesperson Betty Martinez bared that at least four steel towers in a landslid area in a barangay in Baybay, Leyte gave in and caused the tripping of the supply to Bohol.
In situations like this, the NGCP has Emergency Restoration Systems (ERS) which they can temporarily install to bypass the ruined towers, which were affected by a landslide triggered by the passage of Tropical Storm Agaton.
And while the NGCP has standby teams to restore the damage, bringing the materials comprising the modular steel structures of the Emergency Restoration Systems (ERS) from their staging site to the affected area proved to be a challenge, especially with the foul weather, Martinez said.
Despite the odds, NGCP pushed the boundaries with an April 18 target for restoration, a nearly impossible deadline considering that they have to manually transport heavy steel tower segments in slippery trails and land slid areas to the restoration area, on a Holy Week.
More than 100 linemen and support personnel were deployed and worked through the Holy Week to manually transport the ERS to the restoration area and conduct clearing activities necessary for the installation of the ERS, Martinez said.
Working against time and effectively motivating their linemen and support personnel to erect the four temporary ERS to form the bypass of the ruined lines, NGCP restored the power transmission services to Bohol after it energized the Ormoc-Maasin 138kV line 2 at 7:31PM on 17 April and the Maasin-Ubay 138kV line linking Leyte to Bohol, at 10:14AM, 18 April.
The NGCP however has proven over time that it doesn’t shy from a tough deadline.
Last year, when typhoon Odette ravished Bohol and toppled the special towers carrying the critical power supply to Bohol last December 16, the NGCP pegged the date of restoration of the power supply by using their temporary ERS, to February 15.
As the special towers soaring 100 meters above the Basiao Channel strings the high voltage power lines spanning a kilometer long from Barangay Popoo in Carlos P Garcia to Barangay Tapal in Ubay needs special fabrication, the NGCP relies on the ace in their sleeves: the ERS.
True enough, the transmission company succeeded in restoring temporary power to Bohol, saving Boholanos from the expensive bills brought about by Bohol based diesel generated temporary power, days ahead of their pegged deadline.
With the fixing, albeit temporary, of the Ormoc-Maasin 138KV line, Boholanos have been spared again from paying the pass-on rates of power distributors who were forced to use the diesel-generated power.
Meanwhile, Bohol distribution utilities are still at a loss of how to beat a deadline they pegged for full restoration of connections.
Bohol Electric Cooperative 1, which serves 26 towns in Bohol managed to restore 76% of their damaged poles, 126 days after the big storm.
With less than a week, BOHECO linemen need to erect 173 poles per day to hit the April 30 full restoration deadline they initially pegged last April 8.
Now, at least as of April 21, the distribution utility has moved most of their targets to fix their lateral lines to May 20.
That might also mean that even after May, Bohol would still have houses that do not have power. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)