THE NATIONAL Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) said that transmission capacity is currently limited between Negros and Cebu after a portion of its 138-kiloVolt high voltage submarine cable connecting the two islands was damaged by dredging works performed by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The cable has two circuits with a capacity of 90 megawatts (MW) each or a total of 180 MW.

“Because of the damage to one of the two circuits, transmission capacity is currently limited to 90 MW between the two islands,” the system operator said in a statement Wednesday.

The NGCP said its submarine cable was severed due to the DPWH’s dredging activities along the Bio-os River in Negros Oriental on June 15.

“During the dredging and re-channeling activities of the DPWH, the operator hit the submarine cable causing (an) oil spill. (Some) 495 liters of mineral oil was spilled, which NGCP reported to the Coast Guard and to the DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) Region 7,” the grid operator said.

“NGCP has requested the Local Government of Amlan and the DPWH to temporarily stop their operations, and immediately implemented measures to contain the oil spill,” it added.

The NGCP is currently coordinating with foreign technical experts on the schedule of repair works.

“It is unfortunate that this happened at such a crucial time when electricity is critical to COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) response efforts. NGCP assures its stakeholders that all hands are on deck to restore the affected facility and mitigate the impacts of the oil spill and scattered cable debris,” the company said. — Angelica Y. Yang