Bohol eyes 2 power barges
to deliver 64 MW of power
TAGBILARAN CITY, July 13, (PIA)--It is all up to the local negotiators now to pull in time for Bohol to get its much needed power: this time from the power barges.
Disregarding its impacts to the environment, Bohol officials have to turn a blind eye to oil-fired and diesel powered generators just to get power back to houses.
For the ongoing trials, repair, replacement and reconfiguration of its lines, transmission company National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) has worked 24/7 to make sure they can immediately transmit power as soon as it is available, NGCP Visayas spokesperson Betty Martinez stated in her NGCP update July 12.
Moreover, NGCP through its Assistant Technical Officer Gil Listano in a press conference Wednesday has said their transmission lines are all ready to transmit power, which is not there yet.
The Energy Development Corporation (EDC) is operating the geothermal power plants in Leyte, but these could not supply the needed power yet as they are still running tests to get some 40 megawatts (MW) of power salvaged from the July 6 earthquake damaged plants to Ormoc for distribution to Samar, Leyte and Bohol.
To date, no power from the damaged Kananga plants has succeeded in passing through due to still some undetermined technical problems in the plants, according to EDC.
EDC, once they can rerun the turbines at the Kananga power plants and prove the plant can still operate, would be giving out 40MW, which could be shared by Samar, Leyte and Bohol.
If this runs, an additional 10 to 15 MW would boost the local sources in Bohol, but this still is far from half of Bohol's peak load requirement.
A bypass line to allow Samar, Leyte and Bohol to share in the excess power from Cebu-Negros-Panay grid has proven to be inoperable now with five of the six transformers down, the remaining one in fact may have technical problem when the earthquake damaged its insulators, according to NGCP's Martinez.
While NGCP is now on the process of hauling its standby transformers from Cebu to temporarilly replace the busted Ormoc transformers, the transfer of the giant transformers, according to Listano, would take until July 31.
NGCP Corporate spokesperson Atty. Cynthia Alabanza, however hinted that the move is still dependent on the excess supply from CNP with Cebu currently experiencing low power supply too.
Here, the NGCP admits, the fastest and most doable would be power barges, but the transmission facility company said they are not privy as to the power barge negotiations.
Power barges are now privately owned and its owners would only call the NGCP to string the lines from the barge to the nearest transmission lines to energize areas suffering from power problems, according to Listano.
In an interview Thursday, Bohol Governor Edgar Chatto has hinted Bohol's intent to bring in two power barges.
Power barges, all with four units of generators producing 8 mega watts of power, could deliver 32 MW of immediate power.
Chatto hinted that one of the power barges, owned by Trans Asia Power, is now in Ilo-ilo, one that would take between 3 days to one week to arrive in Bohol. This, he said is set to be moored in Catagbacan, Loon.
He also said there is another barge which has committed to get to Bohol would come from Davao or General Santos, as revealed by city councilor Eliezer Borja in a radio interview.
This could be Salcon Power's 32 MW power barge 104, now getting refurbished at the Holcim Compound in Ilang, Davao.
This, the governor said would take three weeks before getting towed to arrive in Bohol and is set to be moored at the Cortes power barge mooring.
As soon as the barges arrive, it would not be long for the NGCP to string the lines and tap the floating power generators to the local 69KV lines for distribution companies to step down to 220 volts for the consumers' homes.
Short of saying, from July 13, the earliest time for Bohol to get 50% of its peak demand supply is 3 days to a week, and when another barge arrives in three weeks, it would be not until August 3 when power would be sufficient to restore full power in Bohol.
That too is considering Bohol would not be late in getting these barges while both Samar and Leyte have also intended to pull at least one for their island needs, according to NGCP. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)
PHOTO: Coming in to supply Bohol's much needed power are two power barges, both capable of generating 32 MWs, on the agreement that Boholanos pay only for the actual use of the floating power facility. (foto from bworldonline)