Nov 202013

MANILA, Philippines – Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla has estimated that around P2 billion would be spent for the restoration of toppled power transmission and distribution lines in the Yolanda-stricken areas.

“(We have) estimated P1.1 billion for transmission alone. (Our) estimate for distribution is about P800 million, or roughly a total of P2 billion. But we have not yet completed the computation,” he said.

Petilla said they are also exploring ways on how to raise the funds to finance the restoration efforts.

He said they are trying to find out if the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), the private concessionaire managing the country’s power transmission highways, can shoulder the rebuilding of the transmission lines.

“I think NGCP’s insurance is 70:30 which means 70 percent of the cost it needs to recoup will be shouldered by them and the 30 percent would have to be passed on. But my goal is zero passed on,” the energy chief said, noting that NGCP may not need to seek approval from ERC for costs related to force majeure.

Petilla said he would also seek leagl opinion on tapping the Malampaya fund for the rehab efforts.

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According to the energy chief, state-run National Electrification Administration (NEA) has already set aside some P300 million to electric cooperatives affected by the super typhoon.

“NEA has already shelled out P150 million to an electric cooperative in Leyte and there’s another P150 million released somewhere in Iloilo. Yes, NEA can shoulder the P800 million but it should be replenished soon,” he said.

“Right now, the line (from Luzon to Visayas) can only take in 150-150 megawatts (MW) by Dec. 9 but by the time the rehab of HVDC (high voltage direct current) is finished by Dec. 31 we are hoping that it can handle 440 MW,” he added.

The DOE has already deployed 145 small power generator sets (gensets) 60 have been delivered to Leyte; 45 to Samar provinces, 30 to Roxas City, Capiz; ten in Iloilo, and five to Coron, Palawan.

Meanwhile, a total of 25 gensets are ready for distribution. Specifically, there are eight gensets to Bantayan and four to Camotes Island in Cebu province, and additional five units for Coron, Palawan.

Each genset has a capacity of two to three kilovolt-ampere (kva), enough to power government centers and other important establishments.

Petilla earlier said they aim full power restoration by Dec. 24 in areas that super Typhoon Yolanda had devastated.

NGCP has counted 150 damaged transmission towers in Yolanda-wrecked areas.

The restoration of transmission will take about five to six weeks, NGCP spokesperson Cynthia Alabanza said.

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