DOE not convinced on NGCP’s ‘lightning’ reason as cause of recent Visayas blackout

By: Mae Fhel Gom-os - CDN Digital Multi-Media Reporter | September 09,2021 - 04:15 PM


CDN file photo

MANDAUE CITY, Cebu — An official of the Department of Energy (DOE) said they did not officially accept the statement of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) that lightning caused the blackout which affected parts of the Visayas last August.

During his online forum with the power utility companies and organizations, Engr. Jose Rey Maleza, the chief science research specialist of the energy division of the DOE, said they still have to confirm whether it was indeed the lighting that caused the blackout.

“The reasons given to us by the NGCP was not really officially accepted by the DOE, on the actual cause of the blackout. We still have to confirm that,” said Maleza, after some stakeholders expressed their dissatisfaction over the reason given by the privately-owned transmission service provider.

It can be recalled that a massive power outage hit several areas in Cebu, Leyte, Samar, and Bohol, shortly before midnight on August 20, 2021.

The restoration of power was slow in the affected areas and it took several hours for power to be fully restored.

READ: Blackout hits parts of Cebu, Bohol, Samar, Leyte

NGCP then released a statement that a lightning strike to NGCP’s Cebu-Quiot-Colon line caused massive power interruptions across the Visayas.

READ: Lightning strike blamed for blackout affecting parts of Cebu and the Visayas

Maleza said the Transmission Company (TransCo), who owns the lines, is currently conducting its own investigation into the incident and that they are waiting for the result.

The official said the incident is not acceptable, stressing that they have the responsibility to provide a stable power supply.

When asked if DOE could impose a penalty against NGCP for the said incident, Maleza said he has no authority to speak about the matter.

However, citing the event as beyond their control, Maleza said NGCP, as well as the distribution utilities, should learn from it and plan mitigating measures to prevent it from happening again.

Maleza added that the DOE is now concentrating on investments and offering opportunities to put up more power plants in strategic locations.

He noted that power plants in Cebu are concentrated in the southern parts of the province and that there is nothing in the north that could be used as backups.

NGCP, which is in charge of operating, maintaining, and developing the country’s state-owned power grid, was allegedly invited to join the forum on Wednesday, September 8, but was not able to make it for still unknown reasons.


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TAGS: blackout, bohol, Cebu‬, DOE, Leyte, NGCP, power outage, power supply, Samar, Visayas

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