Quennie S. Bronce | October 13, 2017
The Visayan Electric Company (VECO) recently completed Phase 1B of its Underground Distribution System (UDS) and has started on Phase 2 of the project.
The underground cabling is in answer to Cebu City Ordinance 1894, approved on April 25, 2001, which seeks to get rid of unsightly wires along city roads.
VECO completed Phase 1A of the UDS project, a 650-meter underground cabling project from Capitol to the Fuente Osmeña Circle, in 2015. The electric distribution company spent a total of P96 million for the project.
Phase 1B of the UDS project was completed in February 28 this year but it was only on the second week of September that the overhead wires and poles were completely removed. The P65.5 million project, is a 1100-meter underground cabling project from the Fuente Osmena Circle to the corner of P. del Rosario Street.
VECO Assistant Vice President for Engineering Technical Support Noel Modesto said the company was able to cut the cost of the project for Phase 1B by at least 40 percent after a change in design.
“Phase 1A was a very expensive undertaking because all the primary and secondary cables were placed underground. VECO, however, was able to cut the cost for Phase 1B and for the succeeding phases because we only included the secondary lines in the underground system.”
-Noel Modesto, AVP for Engineering Technical Support, VECO
Modesto explained that the new design not only cut the cost of the project but also freed the sidewalks from obstruction as VECO no longer needed to put electrical equipment such as transformers at the sidewalk.
“During Phase 1A, we had to negotiate with establishments along the affected area to allow VECO to install electrical equipment along the sidewalks. With the new design, we no longer had to do this,” he added.
Phase 2 of the UDS project, which is already in its initial stages, is expected to be completed on February 2018. This phase will cover 600 meters in P. del Rosario Street, from the corner of Osmena Boulevard to the corner of Sikatuna Street. VECO is expected to spend over P50 million for the project.
The VECO UDS project consists of six phases and covers the Sinulog Grand Parade route, as previously agreed with the Cebu City government: Phase 3 covers Imus Avenue, from the corner of Sikatuna Street to the corner of Gen. Maxilom Avenue, which is 890 meters; Phase 4 will cover Gen. Maxilom Avenue, from the corner of Imus Ave. to the corner of Echavez Street, which is 380 meters; Phase 5 will cover Gen. Maxilom Avenue, from corner Echavez Street to corner D. Jakosalem Street, which is 500 meters; and Phase 6 will cover Gen. Maxilom Avenue, from corner Jakosalem Street to corner F. Ramos Street, which is 630 meters.
Engr. Armil Logarta, VECO Power Systems Design Department manager, said that aside from the aesthetics, the UDS makes the VECO distribution system more reliable because electricity trip offs caused by trees, strong winds and lightning will no longer be a problem.
The absence of overhead wires, Logarta added, also increases the economic value of the area. He also clarified that power in the areas with UDS will not be affected by flooding because the materials used are flood proof.