Power barge to help restore electricity in Bohol

power barge 104

A power barge will be sent to Bohol to help restore electricity in the province in the wake of Typhoon Odette’s onslaught, according to the Department of Energy (DOE).

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Energy Usec. Felix William Fuentebella said that Power Barge 104, which has a capacity of 32 megawatts (MW), will help charge the power plants in the province similar to how power banks function for mobile phones.

Fuentebella added that the DOE is looking forward to the repair of SPC Power Corporation’s 22MW Bohol Diesel Power Plant by December 31. The plant’s switch gear caught fire during the facility’s restoration efforts on Thursday night.

The combined 54MW both facilities would provide accounts for 60% of Bohol’s 90MW power requirement.

Fuentebella added that Energy officials are targeting to restore the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines’ (NGCP) 69-kilovolt (kV) lines between Tagbilaran City and Ubay town, also by December 31.

This would mean the resumption of electricity services for 50% of Bohol Light Co., Inc.’s franchise area — only comprised of Tagbilaran — and a third of the franchise areas of the Bohol I and II Electric Cooperatives, which cover the rest of the province.

Ubay is where one of NGCP’s two toppled special transmission towers is located. The two towers are part of the Leyte-Bohol interconnection, from which Bohol gets 60% of its power.

NGCP has reported that 85% of its affected transmission lines in Visayas and Mindanao have been restored.

Meanwhile, the National Electrification Administration said that power has been restored to only 47.6% of households served by electric cooperatives.

The DOE also reported that 18% of the Visayan Electric Company’s (VECO) franchise area have resumed electricity services, up twice from nine percent on Christmas Day. Aboitiz-owned VECO, the country’s second largest distribution utility, covers most of Metro Cebu.

Crews from VECO’s sister firms Davao Light and Power, Cotabato Light and Power, as well as the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) and Cagayan Electric Light and Power Company are helping in restoration efforts.

Meanwhile, several areas in the Mactan Electric Company’s franchise area may have electricity services again by February 2022.

For its part, Ayala-led ACEN mobilized crews from its solar plants in Negros Occidental to facilitate the connection of the Negros Occidental Electric Cooperative to the company’s 12-kilometer 69kV San Enrique-La Carlota transmission line.

Photo from SPC Power Corporation website.