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 outages are expected.
Therma South Inc. (TSI), a subsidiary of Aboitiz Power, has announced it will connect its 300-megawatt coal-fired plant to the Mindanao grid by Holy Week after completion of steam blowing operations for the first of its two 150-MW turbines.
The plant is expected to start its reliability run in the first half of April, as Therma South phases in its operation.
Full commercial operations of the first unit, according to a statement from Therma South, start after the reliability test is completed.
The second turbine starts operations not long after.
Therma South President and COO Benjamin A. Cariaso Jr. said in the statement the firing up of the plant "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," Cariaso said.
The plant synchronization is being coordinated with the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).
More than 20 distribution utilities and electric cooperatives have signed up to receive power 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, Agusan and Surigao provinces, Davao region, North and South Cotabato and parts of Bukidnon.
The plant’s capacity has been "sold out" since 2014.
About 4,000 workers mostly from Davao City and Sta. Cruz Davao del Sur, were involved in the project, which is seen as one of the most critical long-term solutions to the Mindanao power crisis.
Therma South has earlier announced the expansion of the power plant to 645-MW.