DOE: Restoration of power in quake-affected areas to take 10 days

Sharon Evite-Carangue, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 09 2017 11:10 PM

LEYTE -- The Department of Energy (DOE) said it may take 10 days to fully restore power supply in areas affected by the magnitude 6.5 earthquake that hit the province of Leyte last Thursday. 

Four power plants in Leyte were shut down after they were damaged by the quake, resulting in a total blackout in Region 8.

During the Eastern Visayas Regional Development Council (RDC) meeting in Tacloban on Saturday, Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentabella said the department is working round the clock to fast-track the restoration of power in the affected electric cooperatives.

Some RDC members pointed out that as Eastern Visayas is along the Pacific Ring of Fire, more calamities like that of super typhoon Yolanda and the recent strong quake are expected to happen again. 

The RDC has agreed to push for a re-study on the regional transmission development plan and ensure that it will be more resilient.

Fuentabella said the DOE is working on a "build back better" scheme, which will take 6 months to complete.

But to fast-track power restoration, a bypass line is needed in which a line will be established to connect the Tabango substation in Leyte to the Ormoc substation, allowing power from Cebu to flow to the Ormoc substation, so that power can be restored in Bohol, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Biliran, and Samar. 

The connection of the two substations will be completed in a maximum of three days and full restoration of power in the quake-affected areas might be completed in 10 days.

The DOE is also considering the deployment of a power barge as an alternative source while restoration of damaged power infrastructure is ongoing. 

But Fuentebella cautioned that it has a corresponding cost that will be passed on to the consumers.