THE NATIONAL Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) said it has restored 85% of the transmission lines in the Visayas and Mindanao as of Dec. 25.

The grid company had initially reported that 95 transmission lines were rendered inoperational by typhoon Odette (international name: Rai) which traversed the Visayas and Mindanao on Dec. 16. As of Saturday, 81 of the affected lines were restored.

Typhoon Odette also toppled 818 transmission poles and 12 towers.

In Mindanao, the Placer-Madrid 69 kilovolt (KV) line affecting Siargao island, parts of Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur, has yet to be restored. Meanwhile, in the Visayas, the NGCP said the grid is now capable of handling 100% of the typical 269 megawatt (MW) load of Panay Island; 71% or 179 MW of the Negros Island requirement; 96% or 168 MW of the Samar-Leyte requirement; 18% or 119 MW of the Cebu load; and 0% of Bohol’s.

The Department of Energy (DoE) and the National Electrification Administration (NEA) said earlier that power may not be restored to Bohol, Dinagat Islands, and Surigao del Norte, which includes the resort island of Siargao, by the end of the year.

The NGCP said in the Visayas it can now tap 1,235MW, enough to meet the region’s 728MW demand, with transmission lines in the region all connected.

This does not translate to full restoration of power to households, however, as some local distribution utilities or electric cooperatives may still be dealing with storm damage.

The National Electrification Administration (NEA) reported a damage estimae of P1.56 billion across 25 electric cooperatives as of Saturday.

This tally is expected to rise once all 74 cooperatives submit their damage reports.

NEA’s latest estimate of affected households is 3.9 million from 937 municipalities.

Some 1.56 million of these households or 72% have had their power fully restored, while 84 or 9% have partial electricity.

Meanwhile, 2.37 million households are still awaiting power restoration.

The National Power Corp. (NPC), which manages some government-run power generation assets, said its damage estimate is P24.4 million.

Some 87 power plants, three power barges, and two transmission lines are controlled by the NPC’s Small Power Utility Group, it said, affecting 274,000 households.

The DoE said it has perfomed minor restoration operations and is now addressing the major damage done to the power network. — Marielle C. Lucenio