DOE moves for restoration of power in quake-hit Visayas areas

THE DOE has mobilized to restore power in the areas affected by the quake. Picture shows the destroyed building in Leyte. AFP PHOTO

THE Department of Energy (DOE) said late Thursday evening that it is overseeing the assessment and restoration of energy services after a magnitude 6.5 earthquake hit the Visayas. Said the DOE in a statement released to media:

At around 4:00 PM today (06 July 2017), a magnitude 6.5 earthquake occurred in Jaro, Leyte causing power interruptions in Leyte, Samar, and Bohol Islands. Panay, Negros, Cebu and the other areas in the Visayas.

The Department of Energy (DOE) has been closely coordinating with the members of the energy family to look into the extent of the damage.

In restoring the energy services in the affected areas, DOE Sec. Alfonso G. Cusi advised the industry players to ensure the application of safety practices in restoring the delivery of energy services to the consumers in the earthquake affected areas.

The DOE initially monitored the following pieces of information:

1. The Bohol Grid is on total power failure at 1604H because it was affected by the tripping of Ormoc-Maasin Feeder load which involves 64.2 MW.

2. Market Intervention was declared by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) as system operator starting at interval 17 (or 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm) due to the isolation of the Leyte and Samar Areas and tripping of the Leyte A power plant.

3. After the earthquake, power interruptions occurred in the Panay and Negros areas due to the UFR (Under Frequency Relay) caused by the outage of Leyte A power plant.

4. Initial Report from the power generator, GreenCore, states that all the geothermal power plants in Leyte tripped @4:04pm after the M6.5 quake with the epicenter near the geothermal complex.

Damage to Unified Leyte Geothermal Power Plant switch yard was reported.

Power generators, Green Core and Energy Development Corporation (EDC), are assessing the total damage.

5. Earthquake intensity 6.5 with epicenter at Kananga, Leyte is near the geothermal plants.

Leyte and Bohol experience led total power failure but Cebu, Negros and Panay have power.

The power situation for Cebu, Panay and Negros may however still change due to the volatility of the demand by the hour and the loss of the generating capacity of the affected geothermal plants.

6. Earthquake Advisory as of 6PM, 06 July 2017 from the NGCP relayed that

At 4:03 PM today, a magnitude 6.5 earthquake occurred in Jaro, Leyte causing blackout in Leyte, Samar, and Bohol Islands. Panay, Negros and Cebu Islands experienced power interruptions but are now fully restored.

NGCP is still assessing the extent of the damage to its transmission facilities in the Visayas region. Aerial and foot patrol will commence once it is safe.

Updates will be issued as soon as available.

7. Additional Info from the NGCP stated that the System Operator-initiated Market Intervention is still in effect. All Trading Participants are required to comply with the dispatch instruction of the System Operator.

8. In the power generation sector, Vice President Lito Santos of the EDC reported to Energy Sec. Cusi that all employees in the area are accounted for, with some of the personnel suffering from minor injuries. EDC owns and operates the Unified Leyte Geothermal Power Plants (ULGPP). Santos further submitted that all of ULGPP’s units which generates over 500 MW tripped. Santos assures the energy Secretary that the assessments are still ongoing and will prioritize the Tongonan Unit. The EDC observed that the 138kV tie-line is intact. Hence, it can concentrate on restoring the operations of its generators to deliver the generated electricity into the grid which may take one to two weeks. This timeline may change after a thorough assessment is conducted.

9. Another power generator, Green Core Geothermal Inc. reported that it’s Palinpinon geothermal power plant unit 1 which generates around 37 MW tripped. It was offline at around 4:00pm due to the activation of the Cebu-Negros System Integrity Protection Scheme.

However, the plant was immediately back online and delivering its generated electricity at 5:00pm of the same day.

10. The NGCP, reported as of 6PM today (06 July 2017) that the services by the transmission facilities have been fully restored. Nevertheless, the seeks to re-assessing the extent of the damage to its Tongonan-Kanaga 158 KV tie-line as well as the other transmission facilities in the entire Visayas region.

NGCP assured the DOE and the public that the necessary aerial and foot patrols will immediately commence once the conditions to conduct the same are safe.

11. The DOE enjoins all the managers of the energy facilities, including the power distribution utilities, to submit regular updates to the DOE for proper coordination and quick restoration.