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Mindanao's transmission lines not affected by El Nino - NGCP exec

 • 01:57 AM Sat Sep 5, 2015
Malu C. Manar

KIDAPAWAN CITY - The El Nino phenomenon, which may hit the country anytime this year, won’t affect transmission lines of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), an official said. Milfrance Capulong, communications officer of NGCP South-West Mindanao, said their transmission facilities are built to withstand any weather condition like typhoons, severe drought, or earthquakes. Although, [we must admit] we have structures [that should undergo] upgrading, but, generally, the transmission sector is least affected by El Nino,” said Capulong. What is more affected, she explained, is the generation sector, which operates hydro-electric power plants in Northern Mindanao, particularly in Lanao del Sur in the west and Bukidnon in the east. The NGCP, however, as system generator, should closely coordinate with the National Power Corporation (Napocor), in times of drought like the dreaded El Nino, which, according to weather experts, is worst than the 1997 experience. Reports from PAG-ASA said that the country will be feeling the impact of El Nino towards end of the year and early months of next year as more than half of the archipelago will suffer from dry spell.It expects a substantial amount of reduced rainfall of about 60 to 80 percent. Capulong believed the generation sector, the Napocor, in particular, is already prepared for it. As to Mindanao’s power situation, she said that although the grid has positive reserves it is ‘too thin’. This, she said, is one of the reasons why a large part of Mindanao is still experiencing load curtailment. The day-to-day condition of the grid is unpredictable, depending on the condition of our power plants.Anytime there are plants that bogged down.If this happens, naturally, we will have negative power reserves, thus, the reason for brownouts,” she explained. On Saturday, the NGCP Mindanao will undergo repair and maintenance of its 138 Kilovolt transmission line that connects Kibawe, Bukidnon to Sultan Kudarat in Central Mindanao. The repairs will result to a two-hour rotating blackout – an hour in the morning and another in the evening, she said. The affected lines are the areas served by the Cotabato Light and Power Company in Cotabato City Cotabato Electric Cooperative in North Cotabato Maguindanao Electric Cooperative in Maguindanao and Sultan Kudarat Electric Cooperative in Sultan Kudarat. Capulong said that while maintenance works continue during the day, the NGCP will get power from other transmission lines to supply electricity to their distributors. So that when the Kibawe-Sultan Kudarat 138KV-trasmission line shuts off, the NGCP will shift power to its Tacurong 69KV line,” she said. The maintenance works, she explained, include the repairs of lines from Kibawe to Sultan Kudarat that already sagged or are already below the required line-to-ground clearance and replacement of wooden structures to steel poles.

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