Thieves prey on damaged Leyte transmission towers


After capping 2013 with the restoration of two more transmission backbones in Leyte that were destroyed by Super Typhoon Yolanda, the country’s power grid operator has appealed to the public to spare damaged transmission tower parts in the area from theft.

According to National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), three pilferage incidents in Leyte were already reported from the field.

“Due to the ongoing restoration activities, we have yet to haul and recover the transmission tower parts and materials toppled by Typhoon Yolanda, but that is on top of our list now that we are about to finish the repairs,” said NGCP Spokeswoman Cynthia Alabanza.

“In the meantime, we appeal to the public to report any incident of pilferage of tower parts including those felled by Yolanda,” she added.

NGCP is coordinating with the Department of Energy (DOE), National Electrification Administration, and other concerned agencies in bringing back the power in parts of the Visayas region affected by the super typhoon.

On December 30, 2013, NGCP energized the Ormoc-Isabel and Isabel-Pasar 138-kilovolt (kV) lines, the latter being the direct link of the Philippine Associated Smelting and Refinery Corp. to the main Visayas transmission grid. Pasar is the only copper smelter and refinery in the country.

This development follows the Christmas day announcement of NGCP when it completely restored all transmission lines directly connected to Visayas distribution utilities.

“The two transmission lines finished after Christmas are considered second priority restorations, which are the lines that are for looping or redundancy purposes, or whose load customer is not a DU and is not ready to receive power. We prioritized the restoration of lines directly connected to distribution utilities as that was our commitment to the DOE,” Alabanza said.

Currently, there are five more 69-kV lines undergoing repair in Samar and Leyte, but NGCP clarified that these lines will only provide N-1 contingency to the grid once energized.

N-1 contingency is a Philippine Grid Code requirement to ensure that the transmission services of NGCP remain stable despite an abnormality or malfunction of one of its components, such as a transmission line or segment.


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