Surigao provinces to suffer 11-hour brownout  Sunday

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/19 November) — Most areas in Surigao del Norte and parts of Surigao del Sur will experience an 11-hour bronout from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, three power utilities servicing the two provinces announced.

An advisory from the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) said the two local power distributors in Surigao del Norte and one in Surigao del Sur will not be able to supply power on Sunday due to maintenance works on the transmission firm’s equipment.

“The scheduled outage is due to upgrading activity at Butuan-Claver 138 KV line 1 and maintenance activity at Placer substation and Madrid 69 KV line,” Glory Rebleza, spokesperson of NGCP in Caraga said.

Engr. Sergio Dagooc, general manager of Siargao Island Electric Cooperative (Siarelco) said the outage will affect them, as they are using the same transmission lines that will be fixed in mainland Surigao del Norte.

Siarelco is servicing nine towns in the islands with a power demand of three megawatts.

Dagooc, who also manages Dinagat Island Electric Cooperative, a power utility in the province of Dinagat Island, said it will be spared from the blackout since it belongs to a small power utility group and is not connected to the main grid of the NGCP.

Engr. Narcisco I. Caliao Jr., general manager of Surigao del Norte Electric Cooperative (Surneco) said the outage will affect their whole franchise area.

Surneco is servicing Surigao City and 11 towns of Surigao del Norte.  The power utility firm has a 10-megawatt modular power generating set since last year but it cannot be utilized for commercial purpose pending required permits from the government agencies.  

Aside from the modular power generating sets, Surigao City has a new power generator supplier, Nickel Asia Corporation, which built a billion peso land-based generator in the city. The power generator is not also ready for commercial operation pending the completion of permits.

Glory Rebleza, spokesperson of NGCP in Caraga said Surigao del Sur Electric Cooperative II, which is servicing the municipalities of Carrascal, Cantilan, Madrid, Carmen and Lanuza will experience the blackout.

“NGCP shall exert all efforts to restore the line earlier or as scheduled,” Rebleza said on Saturday.

Several residents in the city are bracing themselves for the long power outage.

“It’s frustrating and there’s always nothing we can do about it,” said James Dela Rosa, a resident of Barangay Luna in the city.

What he is most angry with is that the 10 megawatt modular generating set which is supposed to augment the power supply in Surneco’s franchise area, has yet to be commissioned.

Surneco has a 30-megawatt power demand during peak hours, according to Narciso I. Caliao Jr., the general manager of the local power utility distributor. 

Dela Rosa said he and his family are “planning to go to the beach and relax in there instead of waiting for the power to come back in the house.”

He also said he would charge his gadgets before the power outage. (Roel N. Catoto / MindaNews)