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Mactan airport prepares for expected power outage

By: Victor Anthony V. Silva April 11,2017 - 11:02 PM


The Mactan Cebu International Airport is one of the busiest hubs in the country. It is now preparing for week-long power outages which will hit Mactan Island. CDN PHOTO/LITO TECSON

The Mactan Cebu International Airport is one of the busiest hubs in the country. It is now preparing for week-long power outages which will hit Mactan Island.

Even with generator sets in place to ensure ample power supply amid week-long service interruptions on Mactan Island, local business establishments have taken further steps to save on energy.

The management of the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) said airport operations will remain normal during the temporary power shortages scheduled this week.

“Upon the notice of NGCP (National Grid Corporation of the Philippines) and MECO (Mactan Electric Company), GMCAC (GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corp.), in coordination with MCIAA (MCIA Authority), has set contingency measures in place to ensure that all essential loads will operate accordingly,” the MCIAA said in a statement sent to Cebu Daily News.

In a separate statement, GMCAC, the private operator of the MCIA, said it has a back-up generator that powers up within 30 seconds after a power outage.

MCIAA also has two 1.5-megawatt generator sets that kick in five minutes after a power interruption, enough to power the whole terminal including bridges, elevators, gates, and counters.

This excludes, however, supply to the airport’s air conditioning system.

“We are asking for the understanding of our passengers, but we assure them of enough (power) supply for the airport,” GMCAC said.

GMCAC also reminded its employees to switch off electric appliances and lights in offices when unused.

Energy-saving measures

At Gaisano Mactan Island Mall, airconditioning units are not switched on at the same time, but operate alternately while only ascending escalators are functioning.

Mall operations manager Alvin Verano said they have not encountered any problems so far since they have generator sets.

“It’s just a matter of ensuring that we don’t overheat the generators and that we have enough fuel to power the equipment,” he said in a phone interview.

On average, more than 50,000 people visit the mall on weekends.

Last Sunday, foot traffic remained normal in the mall even as residents of Mactan Island invaded commercial establishments to get away from the outage-induced heat in their residences.

Verano said that most of the residents went to Cebu City instead.

Bluewater Maribago Beach Resort, meanwhile, did not encounter any problems as well.

Eric Monsanto, marketing and communications manager at Bluewater Resorts, said that as far as alternative measures are concerned, Bluewater Maribago is a certified green hotel by the Asean.

“Our rooms use natural lighting and take advantage of the cool ocean breeze for ventilation so our guests are also inclined not to use the lights or air conditioner during daytime,” he said.

Power Outage

MECO’s franchise area experienced service interruption from 6 a.m. to 2:25 p.m. last Sunday, April 9, three hours earlier than scheduled.

Mactan Island, including the City of Lapu-Lapu and the town of Cordova, will experience another interruption on April 15.

According to NGCP, the interruptions are necessary to facilitate the installation of a 100-Megavolt-ampere transformer at its Gas-Insulated Substation (GIS).

The new transformer was meant to make power supply on the island more stable in the future, it said.

NGCP said there will be power supply from April 10 to 14, but it will be unstable since only one transformer will be working during that period.

MECO is also set to implement rotational power interruptions from April 10 to 14, which will run for around two hours in each area.

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TAGS: airport, expected, Mactan, MCIA, outage, power, prepares

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