Power cut off in Leyte as EDC plant shuts down after quake

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 06 2017 07:54 PM | Updated as of Jul 07 2017 12:38 AM

File photo of Malitbog Geothermal Power Station in Kananga, Leyte. Courtesy EDC

MANILA (UPDATED) - The Energy Development Corporation (EDC) said it is assessing the effects of the magnitude 6.5 quake on its facilities in Leyte on Thursday.

"We are aware of news reports of plant damage and are currently awaiting further assessments on the state of our physical assets to determine the exact nature of any damage to our plants," EDC President and COO Richard Tantoco said in a statement. 

He also said that initial reports from EDC's Leyte plant said all employees are accounted for, with some having minor injuries. 

EDC said that based on its initial assessment, the quake damaged electrical wires, bus bars, and insulators but did not cause any major damage. 

The company said all major structures were intact, and estimated that repairs will take two to three weeks. 

Leyte Gov. Dominic Petilla earlier said power was cut off in the province as the EDC-owned Malitbog Geothermal Power Station, located in Kananga town, automatically shuts down during a quake.

The power plant is the largest geothermal energy producer in the country and provides most of the power supply for Visayas.

EDC is the country's largest operator of geothermal power plants in the Philippines. It is part of First Gen Corporation and the Lopez Group of companies. 

Meanwhile, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) said there was a power outage in Samar, Leyte, and Bohol following the 6.5 temblor.

In a statement, NGCP said Panay, Negros, and Cebu also experienced power interruptions but electricity has already been restored. 

"NGCP's Cebu-Leyte submarine cable, and its Tabango Substation in Leyte continues to transmit power to LEYECO V, serving the municipalities of Tabango, San Isidro, and Villaba.," the statement read.

As of 12 a.m., it said it is still assessing the extent of the damage and that “aerial and foot patrol will commence as soon as the situation is safe.”

Office of Civil Defense-Region 8 Director Ed Posadas said NGCP’s tower 18 collapsed after the powerful quake.

“We have region-wide blackout at this time because one of the towers of NGCP was toppled down by the quake. [The tower] is located in Kananga,” Posadas told ANC.

ABS-CBN Corp. is part of the Lopez Group of companies.