Sunday’s power outage in Mindanao cost millions of pesos

Emmanuel Abellanosa, Transco Assistant Vice President for Mindanao, told MindaNews in telphone interview that the cause of the problem, a conductor flashover in a power generator line, a "major technical problem" should never happen again.

"We can't afford another similar incident from happening. Luckily, we were able to correct the problem. Had the protection mechanisms failed, it would have taken us days to restore power," Abellanosa said describing the magnitude of the problem.

Abellanosa said top officials of Transco and MinGen or the Mindanao division of the National Generation Corporation (Genco) are meeting in Iligan City Tuesday to ensure what happens Sunday won't happen again.

Nearly the entire Mindanao grid was down Sunday, he said.

In a statement released to "Mindanao customers and the media," Transco traced the cause of the power outage to a "flashover"  (an unintended high voltage electric discharge over or around an insulator), in the switchyard of Agus 6 Hydroelectric Power Plant in Iligan City, which triggered a cascading effect throughout the grid.

Abellanosa ruled out  "terrorist attack" or "intruders."

"Nobody can simulate that very technical problem," he said.

Transco did not offer any apology for the losses and the inconvenience. The Davao Light Power Company issued updates and a statement of apology.

"We apologize for the inconvenience brought about by the power outage that affected the entire franchise area.  However, the said incident is beyond our control.  Davao Light immediately operated the standby power plant in Bajada to supply power to the areas mentioned above. Also, the company is trying its best to restore power to the entire

franchise area at the earliest possible time. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)