Power fluctuation blamed on attacks on grid towers

THE RECENT attacks on the towers of National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) led to the isolation of state-owned Agus 1 and 2 hydro power plants, resulting in the loss of 58 megawatts of power in the Mindanao grid.

NGCP said in its statement released yesterday that on Dec. 24, the lawless elements bombed Tower 25 along the company’s Agus 2-Kibawe 138 kilovolt line in Lanao del Sur and Tower 95 along Kibawe-Kabacan 138 kilovolt lines 1 and 2 in North Cotabato.

 “These are the 14th and 15th towers to be attacked this year,” the company said.

There were several other attacks on NGCP towers, among them the Oct. 29 attack on the towers in Patani, Marawi City which led to the isolation of the two power plants from the Mindanao grid. This caused power loss in some areas in the island.

The recent attacks on the towers of the company, NGCP said, aggravated to the island’s existing power shortage.

“NGCP is calling on the public to report any suspicious activities at or around its facilities, to prevent further bombing-related power interruptions,” the company said.

As of yesterday, data from the company’s website showed that the Mindanao grid continued to have zero reserves as the system capacity was only 1,351 MW. The island’s system capacity was similar to the grid’s system peak at 1,351 MW.

The Sy-led company is also heightening its campaign against right-of-way (ROW) violations in Mindanao as it called on local government units (LGUs) to pass an ordinance that would criminalize the planting of trees and other activities beneath transmission lines.

“ROW violations, along with bombing attacks, have become the significant problems for NGCP in Mindanao. It will be very difficult for us to deliver the available power supply to distribution utilities if we continue to encounter these problems,” NGCP said.

The Department of Energy has also joined in the call against ROW violations.

“We appeal particularly to the LGUs and land owners to cooperate with the NGCP, the concessionaire of the national transmission lines, in resolving the transmission lines on right of way and easements,” said acting Energy Secretary Zenaida Y. Monsada in a statement.

The distribution utilities and NGCP, Monsada said, should be given right to access the designated areas.

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