DAVAO CITY, Philippines -- The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) would seek from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) a speedy processing of power sales agreement (PSA) rate application for modular generator set intended for the Island Garden City of Samal.

"There is utmost urgency for Samal power problem and should be dealt with quick dispatch," said Secretary Luwalhati Antonino of MinDA in a statement to media.

Antonino, who chairs the Mindanao Power Monitoring Committee (MPMC), noted that fast measures should be exerted to address the total blackout situation in Samal resulting from its isolation from the Mindanao grid.

At the Board Meeting convened on Tuesday by the Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative (DANECO), it was learned that reconnecting Samal through the damaged submarine cable could take weeks.

It may be recalled that in the morning of March 17, 2016, the 13.8kv submarine cable line of DANECO connecting the entire island of Samal from mainland grid was severely damaged after being dragged by the anchor of M/V Ecuador of Seaview Cargo Shipping Corporation.

DANECO reported it is still assessing the full extent of damage and indicated that this could take weeks due to the difficulty of assessing the underwater cable, although a damaged portion had been located.

The submarine cable, with a holding capacity of 4 to 5MW transmits power from Davao Light and Power Co. sub-station to the entire Samal Island which is under the DANECO franchise.

Prior to the submarine cable incident, DANECO had signed a supply contract with Mindoro Grid Corporation (MGC) to supply 6MW modular generator set for Samal and targetted for commissioning this summer when power demand for the island peaks with the influx of tourists.

However, because of the incident and in exigency of service, DANECO proceeded to directly negotiate with MGC for the immediate supply of any available modular diesel genset to operate on island mode in Samal.

According to DANECO, MGC would be able to ship the genset in a matter of days and can start delivering power immediately after installation work is done.

Antonino, however, pointed out that before DANECO could tap the MGC modular genset, it may need to secure PSA approval with ERC.

"But given the situation, DANECO may start commissioning the MGC genset using an existing ERC approved rate for modular genset as benchmark," she added.

On top of the modular genset solution, DANECO is also considering tapping existing generator sets of various establishments in the island through the Interruptible Load Program (ILP) for better management of the supply situation.
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