NGCP warns of power outages in areas with ROW tiffs

By Lenie Lectura, BusinessMirror

Posted at Aug 29 2014 08:43 AM | Updated as of Aug 29 2014 04:51 PM

MANILA -- The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) warned on Thursday power outages will occur in areas with perennial right-of-way (ROW) problems.

For instance, the 26.5-kilometer Baloi-Marawi 69-kilovolt (kV) line in Lanao del Norte, which transmits power to Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative and Mindanao State University, frequently trips because residents intentionally plant trees along the line, NGCP President Henry Sy Jr. said.

“Because of these ROW violators, the line tripped eight times in the month of June, which lasted from 40 minutes to almost five hours. In the end, it is the consumers who suffer.”

According to the grid operator, landowners deliberately plant along their lines to demand unreasonable amounts in exchange for permission to enter their properties for line maintenance. As a result, line clearing and maintenance took longer for NGCP line personnel.

“ROW violations add to our maintenance cost because we have to clear-up the lines before we maintain or repair it. Our personnel also have to extend working hours to finish these activities,” Sy said.

The privately owned transmission network operator said it regularly conducts a massive information campaign to local media and host communities on the ROW violation issue. It also seeks the local government unit’s assistance to solve the problem.

“Local government units will be a big help to us by talking to these landowners to allow us to enter their properties to maintain our lines. We need their assistance because, not only our operations get affected, but also the local cooperatives and end-consumers,” Sy said.

The NGCP, which operates, maintains and develops the country’s power grid, transmits high-voltage electricity through “power superhighways” that include the interconnected system of transmission lines and towers, substations and related assets.