MinDa warns of brownouts in Mindanao-A A +A
Thursday, October 4, 2012
MANILA -- Power outage could again be experienced in some areas in Mindanao for about a month as the 210-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Misamis Oriental goes on preventive maintenance shutdown starting October 6, the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDa) said.
In a recent meeting of the newly created Mindanao Power Monitoring Committee (MPMC), composed of MinDa, the Department of Energy (DOE) and other agencies, the body moved to take on immediate and medium term steps to stabilize the power situation in southern Philippines.
STEAG State Power Inc., which operates the 210MW coal-fired power plant, had earlier announced the scheduled preventive maintenance shutdown for its two electric generation units, one with 105MW capacity to start on October 6 to November 4, and the other 105MW unit to go offline on October 29 until November 10.
According to STEAG, this will be the first time the coal plant will undergo such preventive maintenance shutdown since the start of its full commercial operations in November 2006.
Considered as the most modern and the biggest in Mindanao on a per unit capacity, STEAG coal-fired power plant has so far delivered more than 8.3 billion kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity and currently accounts for 20 percent of the Mindanao grid.
STEAG report added that the timing of maintenance shutdown takes into consideration the plant’s operations and maintenance guidelines as well as the projected electricity demand-supply condition of Mindanao during the period.
The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) puts the island-region's system capacity at only 1045 megawatts (MW) in its latest weekly power outlook bulletin, 187 MW short of the Mindanao grid’s 1242 MW system load.
"Better coordination among agencies concerned and engaging the Mindanao stakeholders should characterize our efforts to address the power problem," said MinDa Secretary Luwalhati Antonino in a statement.
Antonino stressed that making the public fully aware of the situation can strengthen power conservation measures and sustain consumer education to help ease up demand pressure.
Created under E.O. 81, the committee is tasked to coordinate efforts of national, regional and local governments, and power industry stakeholders to improve the power situation in Mindanao. It is also mandated to regularly monitor information on Mindanao power generation and distribution, including status of efforts to add new generating capacities to the grid.
Currently, MPMC is proposing to tap imbedded generators and the operationalization of the 100MW Iligan Diesel Power Plant in the immediate term, while firming up the setting up of a one-stop-shop processing center to facilitate new applications, particularly mini hydro power.
Mindanao’s additional generating capacities mostly from coal-fired power plants are expected to add up to the grid but not until 2014-2015 when these start full commercial operations.
MPMC is composed of MinDA, DoE, Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), National Electrification Administration (NEA), National Power Corporation (NPC), Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) and representatives from MEPA and the Association of Mindanao Rural Electric Cooperatives (AMRECO). (SDR/Sunnex)