The Department of Energy (DoE) and energy stakeholders are aiming to restore electricity within three to seven days in quake-affected areas in the Visayas.
“I am hopeful that we can see a tremendous improvement in the delivery of energy services within three to seven days,” Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said in a statement on Saturday.
Cusi conducted an aerial and ground inspection of various power plants, including geothermal facilities that suffered damage from the magnitude 6.5 quake that hit the region on Thursday.
These plants included the 180-megawatt (MW) Majanandog Geothermal Power Plant (GPP), 230-MW Malitbog GPP, 120-MW Tongonan GPP, and 120-MW Upper Majiao GPP.
These facilities have seven other optimizing plants with an additional generation capacity of 50 MW.
The quake that hit Jaro town in Leyte led to the deaths of two people, while 72 others were reported injured.
Blackouts hit Bohol and Samar islands as well as southern Leyte, where a number of structures collapsed.
Leyte plants still shut
Energy Development Corp. (EDC) President Richard Tantoco briefed Cusi on the status of its power plants.
As of 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, all of EDC’s Leyte power plants were still shut down amid an assessment of the full extent of damage. The Tongonan facility’s office was damaged along with the plant and its transformer.
Out of the potential 120-MW capacity, EDC aims to restore at least 40 MW within seven to eight days, an additional 40 MW by September 1, and another 40 MW within 50 days, officials said.
The Tongonan GPP is directly connected to the 138-kilovolt (kV) transmission line operated by the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines.
The upper Majiao plant, meanwhile, is expected to resume operations within five to seven days to bring 132-MW facility back to the grid.
For the Malitbog power plant, Units 1 and 2 are expected to resume operations within the next seven to 10 days, bringing around 150 MW of power back online. Unit 3, however, will remain shut down because of damage sustained by its cooling tower.
Access to the Majanandog plant remains difficult and the extent of the damage that hit the plant has yet to be assessed.
The Malitbog GPP, meanwhile, can deliver around 150 MW by July 11 to several areas in Samar and Ormoc City as it only reported minor damage.
The Malitbog, Majanandog and Majiao GPPs deliver electricity through a marshalling station, which was likewise damaged by the earthquake.
“We are still working to clear landslide debris. Barring any unforeseen issues, EDC could have about 317 MW of power restored to Leyte within the next 10 days,” Tantoco said.
“Meanwhile, repair of the marshalling station has commenced and we expect it to be operational in three to five days. Aside from transmitting power from our plants, these repairs will also allow the connection of the station to the 230-kV line to Luzon,” he said.
“Our team of contractors has been mobilized to work 24/7, safety considerations permitting, to complete the assessment and accelerate return to service,” he added.