NGCP submarine cable connecting Negros, Cebu damaged

ngcp damaged negros-cebu cable

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) is working to repair one of its high-voltage submarine cables connecting Negros and Cebu damaged three weeks ago.

NGCP said that the cable was severed during the Department of Public Works and Highways’ (DPWH) dredging and re-channeling activities along the Bio-os River in Amlan, Negros Oriental last June 15.

The line has two circuits of 138kV submarine cables, with each circuit having a 90-megawatt (MW) capacity each for a total capacity of 180MW. As a result, the transmission capacity between the two islands was cut in half. NGCP’s System Integrity Protection Scheme was automatically activated to isolate the affected circuit and prevent overloading of the remaining cable.

Based on initial reports NGCP received, a contributing factor to the incident was the DPWH’s deviation from the agreed work site. The grid operator said it requested the local government of Amlan and the DPWH to temporarily stop their operations, and immediately implemented measures to contain the oil spill.

“It is unfortunate that this happened at such a crucial time when electricity is critical to COVID- 19 response efforts. NGCP assures its stakeholders that all hands are on deck to restore the affected facility and mitigate the impacts of the oil spill and scattered cable debris,” the grid firm said in a statement. 

Meanwhile, NGCP is planning to complete repairs on a crucial transmission project which will connect the still-separate Mindanao and Visayas Grids by year’s end, according to a BusinessWorld report.

The timeline for the Mindanao-Visayas Interconnection Project (MVIP) was pushed back after NGCP discovered damages to a portion of its 350kV Dapitan-Santander high-voltage direct current line back in February.

While NGCP did not reveal the cause of the damage, initial reports showed that a vessel was navigating the area between Zamboanga Del Norte and Cebu, where the first cable was laid, a month after the completion of the cable-laying activity. 

The project, certified by the Department of Energy as an energy project of national significance, has also been delayed due to travel restrictions imposed by the pandemic.