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After 9 days: Power from Leyte back to Bohol, easing crisis

After 9 days: Power from Leyte back to Bohol, easing crisis
By Michael Ortega Ligalig July 16, 2017 http://www.philstar.com/region/2017/07/16/1720038/after-9-days-power-ley...

TAGBILARAN CITY, Philippines — Power from the Leyte-Bohol Interconnection Grid yesterday started to trickle into homes in Bohol after improvements of the ongoing repair and restoration of the damaged facility of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) in Leyte.

As of yesterday, the 21 towns in Bohol—mostly in the third district of the province and served by the Bohol Electric Cooperative 2—have been rationed with power supply from the grid nine days after they experienced blackout when the 6.5-magnitude earthquake struck Leyte on July 6.

"First we received an initial 6 megawatts from the Leyte grid on Friday, and today (Saturday), we get 9 megawatts," Eugenio Tan, Boheco 2 general manager, told station DyTR's "Ang Lungsod nga Nasayod" program.

"We are still implementing a rotational brownout because the 9 megawatts is short of the 20 megawatts needed for the 21 towns," Tan told The Freeman in Bisaya dialect.

Betty Martinez, NGCP spokesperson for Central Visayas, said BOHECO 2I was first supplied because "it is nearest to the NGCP's substation in Ubay (town)."

"In as much as the allocation for Bohol was still very minimal at the onset, extending the power to our Corella Substation and Tagbilaran Substation immediately would have resulted in voltage issue," Martinez said. "As supply increased, then it became technically possible to extend power farther with the voltage at the mandated level."
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Since July 7 the other 25 towns, served by Boheco I, have also been experiencing a rotational brownout, like in Tagbilaran City, because these areas have not received power supply from Leyte. These places are energized through the reactivated Bohol Diesel Power Plant and three mini-hydro plants, all have a combined output of at least 20MW, short of the total need of 60MW.

But a July 15 advisory of Boheco I showed signs of relief from the power crisis. BOHECO I has now been receiving power from Leyte via the Maasin-Ubay 138-kv submarine cable, according to the advisory posted on its Facebook page yesterday afternoon.

"With the mixed power supply from Leyte and hydro power plants in Bohol, BOHECO I is pleased to inform you that our power supply is nearly stable," the cooperative announced.

"As of now, all municipalities within the coverage area of BOHECO I are being served." But the power coop cautioned the public that power outages may still be experienced due to a limited supply of electricity, for now.

On Friday, Bohol was placed under a state of calamity, a move by Bohol officials led by Governor Edgar Chatto which was lauded by the Department of Energy (DOE).

A DOE press statement released yesterday through DOE Undersecretary Wimpy Fuentebella said "the declaration will enable the local and national agencies to have more resources and flexibility in responding. The actions that Bohol will take are geared towards enabling it to be more resilient."

Earlier, Chatto said: "Bohol is thankful to the national government and the entire energy family for working hard in assisting its people." (FREEMAN)