The 138-kilovolt (kV) high voltage submarine cable in Negros Oriental which suffered technical glitch, has been limiting the transmission of power capacity between the islands of Cebu and Negros.

In a statement to the media, transmission firm National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) reported that the submarine cable was damaged during dredging and re-channeling activities carried out by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) at its work site in Amlan town in Negros Oriental.

One of the two circuits of NGCP’s 138kV high voltage submarine cable was damaged last 15 June due to dredging and re-channeling activities of the DPWH, resulting to limited transmission capacity in Negros and Cebu and an oil spill in the area.

The cable facility, according to NGCP, links Negros and Cebu, and it comprises of two circuits with carrying capacity of 90 megawatts each or an aggregate capacity of 180MW for two circuits.

“Because of the damage to one of the two circuits, transmission capacity is currently limited to 90MW between the two islands,” the transmission firm said.

NGCP added “it is unfortunate that this happened at such a crucial time when electricity is critical to Covid-19 response efforts” – primarily on the inoculation program of the government wherein sufficient power supply is a critical backbone in preserving the quality and integrity of the vaccines.

The transmission company emphasized that when the facility was already technically impaired, its System Integrity Protection Scheme (SIPS) was automatically activated “to isolate the affected circuit and prevent overloading of the remaining cable.”

NGCP noted it was only able to assess the full extent of the submarine cable’s damage on June 23-24; and that prompted it to coordinate right away with its partner-foreign technical experts to commence repair activities on the facility.

As culled from its fact-finding on the incident, the company stated that a contributing factor to that inauspicious development had been “the deviation on the agreed work site by the DPWH.”

Following the incident, NGCP indicated that it “requested the local government of Amlan and the DPWH to temporarily stop their operations, and immediately implemented measures to contain the oil spill.”

While repair works are being undertaken at the blighted facility, NGCP gave word that “all hands are on deck to restore the affected facility and mitigate the impacts of the oil spill and scattered cable debris.”

Source: Manila Bulletin (