Coal plant runs soon

DAVAO -- The newly-constructed power plant in Davao City will start to deliver power to its customers by next month in time for the onset of the dry season when prolonged power interruptions are expected.



On track with the target completion of the 300-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant this year, Therma South Inc. (TSI), a subsidiary of Aboitiz Power, announced Sunday that it is set to synchronize with the Mindanao grid by Holy Week after completion of the steam blowing operations for the first of its two 150-MW units.



The power plant is expected to start its reliability run in the first half of April, wherein it can deliver power to the grid that can be availed by Therma South customers.



Although the delivery of power will be on a scaled basis, it only indicates that the power company is taking one step closer to full commercial operations of the plant.



Full commercial operations of the first unit, according to a statement issued by TSI, will start after the reliability test is successfully completed.



The second 150 MW is also on track to meet its scheduled commercial operations timeline.



"We are happy to announce that our customers should be able to start receiving power from Therma South by April on a scaled basis as we continue our tests," Therma South president and COO Benjamin A. Cariaso Jr. said in the same statement.



"The timing could not have been better as the coming summer months are expected to affect the power output of Mindanao's hydro power plants. Therma South will be able to assist our customers to cope with the demand for power," he added.



The planned synchronization is currently being coordinated with the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).



More than 20 distribution utilities and electric cooperatives have signed up to receive capacity from Therma South, including the Davao Light and Power, Cagayan de Oro Electric Power Co. and Cotabato Light franchise areas. It will also serve electric cooperatives serving the cities of General Santos, Butuan, Tagum, Kidapawan, Mati, Koronadal, Surigao and Digos, among others,



It will also serve the Zamboanga provinces, Misamis, the whole of Agusan and Surigao provinces, the Davao region, North and South Cotabato and parts of Bukidnon and Misamis.



The power plant capacity has been "sold out" since 2014.



At its peak, some 4,000 workers mostly from Davao City and Sta. Cruz Davao del Sur worked to complete the project, which was seen as one of the most critical long-term solutions to the Mindanao power crisis.



The company earlier announced the expansion of the power plant to 645 MW. (Sun.Star Davao/Sunnex)




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