TACLOBAN CITY- The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) had completed the restoration of the Ormoc High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) Converter Station, and is now fully engaged to allow power sharing between the Luzon and Visayas grids.
This was disclosed by NGCP spokesperson Cynthia Alabanza during a public hearing conducted by the Leyte provincial board last September 8 on the status of electricity in the province after it was hit by a 6.5 magnitude earthquake last July 6.
Energy Undersecretary Petronilo Ilagan also attended the public hearing conducted by the provincial board, sitting as a committee as a whole and presided by Vice Governor Carlo Loreto.
The tremor that hit the province, particularly Kananga and Ormoc City where the power plants of the NGCP and Energy Development Corp. are located, resulted in a massive blackout that lasted for more than a month across the region and parts of Bohol and Cebu.
Alabanza said that their restoration work involved moving several heavy equipment from different NGCP facilities in the country to replace damaged parts such as converter transformers and breakers, among others, according to the company.
“What we did was we repair first(the transformer) and if it is not repairable, we replaced but then again repairing is not that easy because it entailed packing the transformers that as big as this session hall and bringing it to Ormoc,” she said.
Alabanza added that having a spare transformer in Cebu that is compatible with the transformer in Leyte makes it easier for them to energize the converter station in Ormoc, a project they implemented when they took over the transmission company in 2007.
With the energization of the HVDC in Ormoc, the Visayas grid can now import power from Luzon grid to augment the power supply requirements and relieve generation deficiency, she added.
Also during the public hearing, Alabanza expressed her concern over the absence of power generation facilities in Samar provinces that could augment the electricity needs of the region if the power generation companies in Leyte fail to produce energy.
The provincial board will set another date for the continuation of the public hearing with the EDC, being one of the important pillars in the energy sector.
“We need to know their plans and commitments (and) when will they finish the repair of their damaged facilities,” Loreto said.
From more than 700 megawatts (MW), EDC’s electricity production was reduced to 210 MW after the earthquake. The company is supplying the power needs of the whole region as well as to Cebu, Bohol and other parts of the Visayas, including Luzon.