Samal power crisis looms as submarine cable deteriorates
Subscribe Now September 25, 2013 at 10:19pm
City Administrator Cleto Gales said in an interview that the submarine cable of the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative (Daneco) is “already on its advanced state of deterioration.”
Its load capacity of 5-megawatts is no longer enough to meet the increasing power requirement of the island, Gales added.
He said that last summer, the power load running into the submarine cable breached its load capacity by registering 5.2 MW. This forced Daneco to put the entire island on rotational brownout scheme so as not to overstress the submarine cable, he added.
But now, Gales said, they are experiencing power outages that lasts for four hours, without schedule.
“There’s a power crisis in the island. Our power crisis is three-pronged. It is on top of the Mindanao power crisis and it is due to the intramurals between Daneco-NEA and Daneco-CDA groups.”
The submarine cable is the third prong, Gales said, adding that it had already been cut and spliced five times.
He recalled that at one time, a cargo ship dragged it.
The cable’s submerged part is 1-kilometer stretch connected from substation and distribution lines of Davao Light and Power Corp. in Pampanga area, Davao City.
The latest bogging down of the submarine cable caused by the breakup of one splice was in 2011 where it took two weeks for Daneco to repair and resume energizing the island.
“It is still functioning at critical level during peak hours, and with its advanced state of deterioration, we fear that anytime soon, it will give up and put the entire island in the dark.”
A memorandum of agreement was forged between Daneco, Davao Light and the city government more than two years ago, giving the latter a contractor-like function to distribute and manage power in the island.
But the deal was aborted by the ensuing factional intramurals between the Daneco-NEA and Daneco-CDA groups, Gales recalled.
At present, the Daneco-NEA group was chosen as the single entity to manage Daneco following favorable decision of the Court of Appeals last month on legitimacy and CDA registration-related cases filed during their two-year legal and administrative battle.
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