GRID operator National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) on Wednesday warned that the Mindanao grid might collapse after it placed the entire region on red alert again due to a power supply shortage.
NGCP placed Mindanao on red alert from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday with contingency reserves at zero after National Power Corp. (Napocor)-owned generating facilities Agus 1 and Agus 2 hydropower plants were isolated from the grid.
The Agus 1 and 2 hydro facilities are connected to the grid through the Agus 2-Kibawe 138-kV (kilovolt) line.
According to the NGCP, it has yet to restore the damaged Tower No. 25 along the Agus 2- Kibawe 138-kV line in Ramain, Lanao del Sur due to uncooperative land owners.
“The line has been unserviceable since Christmas Eve when it was bombed by unidentified lawless elements,” the NGCP said.
The grid operator said that owners of the property where the tower is located — Johnny Sambitori, Intan Sambitori and Naguib Sambitori – have refused entry to NGCP personnel who were supposed to repair the damaged transmission facility.
Negotiations with the Sambitoris were unsuccessful because the owners allege that the government failed to pay their previous claims in the past.
Because of this, NGCP said Mindanao is facing a possible grid collapse if the situation persists because only one line—the Maramag-Bunawan 138-kV line —remains which can deliver power from the Agus Hydro Complex.
“If the said line is in any way compromised, no power will flow from the remaining Agus hydro facilities to south of Mindanao where the bulk of power demand is located,” NGCP added.
Both Davao City and General Santos City are located in the south, and are in real danger of being completely cut off from the bulk supply coming from the hydro facilities.
NGCP is appealing to the public, the local and national governments, the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to help monitor the safety of the towers so that transmission services would remain uninterrupted.
It also appealed to local community leaders to help identify the perpetrators of the bombings and to negotiate with uncooperative landowners to prevent further prolonged power interruptions.