4-DAY BLACKOUT: Noneco seeks Ceneco’s help to restore power in three areas

Northern Negros Electric Cooperative (Noneco) personnel install a line to interconnect with the line of Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco) to aid the restoration of power in E.B. Magalona and Manapla towns, and Victorias City, Negros Occidental that were affected by the blackout for four days now due to the tripping of the power transformer of the 15MVA Victorias substation since August 29. (Photo courtesy of Noneco)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – The Northern Negros Electric Cooperative (Noneco) has sought the assistance of the Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco) to provide a temporary remedy for the restoration of power in three areas in the northern part of Negros Occidental.

The whole area of E.B. Magalona and Victorias City and a portion of Manapla town were affected by the unscheduled power interruption since Tuesday morning, August 29, amid heavy rains brought by Typhoon “Goring” and the enhanced southwest monsoon.

The power interruption was first reported around 10:53 p.m. on Monday, August 28, due to a busted lightning arrester at 15MVA Victorias substation, according to an advisory from Noneco. Power was restored at 2:01 a.m. the following day.

However, another power outage occurred on Tuesday morning due to the tripping of the power transformer causing blackouts in these areas until now.

According to Noneco, preventive measures were conducted before re-energization, and a series of electrical tests were conducted on Tuesday night at the 15MVA Victorias power transformer.

Based on the evaluation conducted, the full energization of the 15 MVA Victorias Substation may be possible, however, it will risk the remaining connected equipment considering that they must first ensure the safety and accuracy of their whole technical system.

Despite receiving numerous complaints from consumers about the blackouts, the power firm said that they are doing their best to restore power.

As of Thursday, Noneco said that they are constructing lines to interconnect with Ceneco lines to restore power in the area of E.B. Magalona town. This is one of the power firm’s solutions while repairing the 15 MVA substation in Victorias City.

Victorias City Mayor Javi Benitez thanked his father, Bacolod Mayor Alfredo “Albee” Benitez, for linking him with Atty. Arnel Lapore, Ceneco general manager.

“Thanks to collaborative efforts, a solution is in sight: Ceneco will loan Noneco a 15MVA transformer to be stationed at CyberCenter here,” the Victorias City mayor said.

As of this moment, a team from Noneco and Celcor Builders and Equipment, Inc., led by Celso Uy, is transporting the transformer to Victorias City, according to the local chief executive.

Commissioning will follow established protocols, such as testing and declassification, and is expected to be completed within 24 hours of installation, he said.

On behalf of the Victorias City government, the mayor said that they are committed to resolving this situation and restoring power to our residents and neighboring municipalities as quickly as possible.

Amid this power crisis, free charging stations were provided by Noneco and the local government units (LGUs) affected, while the power firm is trying to figure out solutions to address the problem.

Meanwhile, Noneco also reminded the public to refrain from sharing fake news regarding the power crisis.

The power firm through its officer-in-charge general manager Ma. Dorothy Evangelista said that it is conducting an investigation to establish the source of the fake document that caused alarm to the public and for the consequent legal implications.

The fake document that’s circulating on social media alleged that “power interruption will last on the date indicated or until further notice.”

They encouraged everyone to delete, if not report the said postings for it was designed to mislead the public on Noneco’s current effort of power restoration in the affected areas of coverage.

They also reminded the public that all updates in relation to power restoration of the 15MVA substation can be accessed through their official Facebook page.

As of this posting, Noneco has yet to announce the definite time or period for the restoration of power in the three affected areas.