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 Longer blackouts in Meralco franchise area seen

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Magic Man13
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PostSubject: Longer blackouts in Meralco franchise area seen   Thu Jul 15, 2010 2:50 am

MANILA, Philippines - It may take 2 to 3 days to fully restore damaged power transmission lines across Metro Manila and surrounding provinces in Luzon which were devastated by Typhoon Basyang (international name Conson) Tuesday night, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) said.

"That is a conservative timetable because we are still awaiting the completion of the assessment report," noted Guillermo Redoblado, spokesperson and senior technical adviser of NGCP, which manages and operates the country's power transmission system.

As of noon Wednesday, the NGCP has already connected the severed portion of the Sucat-Araneta line, which is expected to provide an additional 200 megawatts of power to the Luzon grid.

Currently, there is a supply deficit of more than 3,500 MW.

"Metro Manila needs about 4,500 MW of power and right now, we have less than 1,000 MW," Redoblado added.

At 12:42 a.m., the NGCP declared a Luzon-wide blackout after Typhoon Basyang cut transmission and power lines. This affected the whole franchise area of the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), which supplies power to Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

NGCP is targeting to get the Sual power plant running in the main grid by Wednesday to provide 647 MW of power.

The next NGCP update will be released later at 5 p.m.

Meanwhile, Meralco spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga said the power distributor is coordinating with the NGCP to restore electricity in its franchise area.

"We want to ensure all concerned that we are removing power restoration constraints," he told ANC on Wednesday.

Debris, toppled trees and collapsed billboards on the streets of Metro Manila partially caused Meralco's transmission lines to trip.

"Kung meron ng available na supply, basta walang constraints, we will bring back electricity," said Zaldarriaga. "Hopefully by the end of the day, karamihan ng naapektuhan ay magkakaroon na ng kuryente."

Alvin Elchico, ABS-CBN News
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