Fault in Bukidnon transmission line behind Mindanao power outage?

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 27 Feb) – A major fault along a transmission line maintained by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) in Bukidnon province reportedly triggered the continuing massive power outage in parts of Mindanao.

Most of Mindanao plunged into darkness 3:53 a.m. today, and the NGCP, in its website, said that it is “still determining the cause and is working to restore the power transmission service to all power customers in Mindanao.”

Santiago Tudio, general manager of the South Cotabato I Electric Cooperative (Socoteco I), said they were informed by the NGCP that the cause of the outage has initially been traced to the transmission lines connecting the National Power Corporation’s hydroelectric plants in Bukidnon to the Mindanao power grid.

He said the NGCP advisory did not indicate any problem with the power plants but only with the transmission lines.

“The line somewhere in Bukidnon reportedly collapsed. They (NGCP) could not yet confirm the exact spot of the fault as their workers are still trying to locate it as of this time,” he said in a radio interview.

As of 10 a.m., the entire southern and central Mindanao as well as parts of the Davao region has remained without power due to the disturbance, although some areas like Cagayan de Oro City regained electricity past 9 a.m. Power was also restored in Iligan City shortly before 10 a.m., but was interrupted again for about two hours.

The NGCP claimed that “as of 9:30 a.m. transmission service is restored” in Davao City, General Santos City, Zamboanga City, Pagadian City, Cagayan de Oro City and parts of Misamis Oriental.

In General Santos, the South Cotabato II Electric Cooperative (Socoteco II) was able to partially restore power in some parts of the city following the streaming of power supplies from the Alcantara-controlled Southern Philippines Power Corporation’s diesel-fired power plant in Alabel town in Sarangani.

Socoteco II serves this city, the entire province of Sarangani and the municipalities of Tupi and Polomolok in South Cotabato.

Tudio said Socoteco I is currently working on using its leased modular generator sets before noon to restore power in Koronadal City and the neighboring areas.

He said they received a go-signal from the Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday morning to operate the 12-megawatt generator sets on a temporary basis pending the approval and issuance of its permit.