NGCP explains 19-hr blackout in west coast PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 22 March 2016 11:32

By VIC LARATO

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) yesterday owned but appeared unapologetic over the power failure that caused the 19-hour long blackout in most part of the west coast last Sunday, to the consternation of thousands of the affected consumers.

Engr. Hermie Hamoy, chief substation engineer District 1 Operations and Maintenance of NGCP, explained at the media briefing in City Hall that the power service interruption, covering the city’s west coast areas, from 6 a.m. Sunday to 1:27 a.m. Monday was caused by the failed testing of the 100mva transformer at the Pitogo Substation in Sinunuc.

He said the power interruption was originally scheduled for 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday as earlier announced, but the secondary bushings of the 100mva transformer failed during testing at about 3:30 p.m.

This, he said, prompted the technical personnel to meet and discussed the contingency plan of actions.

“The best option that we had was to energize, not the 100mva transformer anymore, but the other transformer of 50kva at the Sangali Substation and transfer or dissect the load to the Pitogo Substation,” Engr. Hamoy said.

However, the work plan took quite sometime and had to be evaluated to ensure it was not dangerous, and so the power service in the affected west coast areas resumed after 19 hours at 1:27 a.m. Monday.

Nevertheless, Hamoy said maintenance work on the 100mva transformer continues and it will still be commissioned on March 24.

“We are working round-the-clock. For now, all logistics are being gathered for yet the final maintenance shutdown on March 24,” he said.

At the height of the 19-hour blackout, the netizens used the social media in expressing their ire and disgust at the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (Zamcelco) for not answering calls for inquiries.

Mayor Beng Climaco herself was among those who called up Zamcelco to inquire, but nobody answered her.

Climaco reiterated her position the public utility firms like Zamcelco and the Zamboanga City Water District, which has also been a subject of complaint for the water shortage, should be held responsible for their services as they are independent from the city government.

“They are independent. I cannot and I will never dictate them what to do. They should be held accountable and responsible for their own actions/services to the public,” the chief executive stressed.— Vic Larato