DU warns of outages amid cleaning ops in power lines 

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor

MORE Electric and Power Corporation (MORE Power), the electric distribution utility (DU) of Iloilo City, has cautioned its consumers about a city-wide scheduled power interruption this April due to extensive cleaning operations on its transmission lines.

“Consumers can anticipate a franchise-wide scheduled power interruption within April to prevent similar incidents (emergency power interruption), especially with the expectation of light rains in the upcoming weeks,” it said.

MORE Power said that the low chance of rain due to the dry season and El Niño phenomenon has prompted the start of Phase 2 of its extensive cleaning operation on its 69kV lines this month to further prevent power interruptions.

Engr. Bernard Bailey Del Castillo, MORE Power’s Vice President of the Network Development and Operations Group, explained that dirt and salt buildup on insulators and facilities have caused sparks and power outages.

“Dirty insulators on our power lines are a big problem because even light rain can cause sparks and outages. We need heavy rain to wash away the dirt,” he explained.

Del Castillo added that they cannot interrupt all 69kV lines simultaneously due to the expansive working area, requiring them to conduct the process in phases.

“In our Phase 1, aside from washing facilities, we also replaced more than 100 pieces of post insulators, and another 150 pieces for Phase 2,” he said.

On March 27, an emergency power interruption hit Iloilo City due to the distribution utility’s cleaning of porcelain suspension, replacement of post insulator, and installation of silicon rubber on its 69kV sub-transmission line 2.

The operation followed two consecutive unscheduled power interruptions affecting 69kV sub-transmission line 2, which links four substations: Molo, Mobile, Megaworld, and Diversion.

On April 12, another unscheduled power interruption occurred, affecting almost the entire franchise area except for Lapaz Substation. The power interruption was caused by sparks on the insulator of their 69KV line 5 at La Granja junction.

“Even though they had planned to fix this line in Phase 2 this month, the incident occurred before they could start,” MORE Power said.