Brownouts again due to limited supply

by Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 17 2014 11:49 AM | Updated as of Jul 18 2014 01:08 AM

A family shares a meal of fast food in the dark in Quezon City as millions of homes were left without electricity in the aftermath of typhoon Glenda's onslaught. Photo by Fernando G. Sepe, Jr. for

Meralco targets full power restoration by Friday night

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - Three-hour rotating brownouts were implemented again on Thursday within Manila Electric Co's (Meralco) franchise area, as power plants continued to have limited supply.

Affected areas include parts of Manila, Makati, Pasay, Quezon City, and Bulacan.

Meralco senior vice president and head of corporate communications Al Panlilio said Meralco has a power deficit of around 100MW mainly because of the absence of additional power from the power plants from southern Luzon.

The six plants that were offline as of 11 a.m. are Santa Rita, San Lorenzo, Calaca, Pagbilao, Ilijan and Quezon power, making up 55 percent of Luzon's supply.

As of 9 a.m. on Thursday, only 64 percent of Meralco's total franchise area has power.

The country's largest power distributor however said, its looking at restoring power within Metro Manila by 10 p.m., Friday.

But the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) says these brownouts could have been avoided had the Santa Rita and San Lorenzo plants in Batangas generated power and transmitted the power to the grid.

NGCP has prioritized the fixing of the feedback transmission lines yesterday in order to augment limited power in Luzon but the Santa Rita and San Lorenzo plants were not able to transmit because of the flooding in the plant complex.

"Sana naiwasan ang brownout today kung tumakbo ang Sta Rita at San Lorenzo because it can more than cover the deficit," says Raul Seludo, NGCP head of systems operations.

First Gen confirms its Sta Rita and San Lorenzo plants, which produce a combined 1,500 MW are offline because of flooding in the complex.

"Santa Rita and San Lorenzo are offline today due to flooding in the complex yesterday. We expect the units to go back on line over the weekend," Francis Giles Puno, president of First Gen, said.

Also, Seludo says NGCP has fixed the lines to and from Calaca, Pagbilao, Ilijan and Quezon power but it takes time for these plants to start up and generate power.

Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla estimates that by July 19 to 22, the major transmission lines will already be fixed. But the total 100% restoration will take at least 2 weeks.

For the Bicol provinces of Albay, Sorsogon, Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur, the NGCP says it will take them at 2 days at the earliest to fix the transmission lines and 5 days at the latest.

When asked for an assurance on the full restoration, Petilla says the only assurance he can give is that people are working 24/7 to fix the problem.

"For those people na naiirita na, di lang po kayo, kundi pati kami. These people working know how you're feeling," Petilla adds. - With ANC