Power supply deficiency causes rotating brownouts in Davao City

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews /23 January) — Davao Light and Power Company (DLPC), a subsidiary of Aboitiz Power, announced on Friday a power supply deficiency within its franchise area that may cause rotating brownouts.

In a statement, DLPC blamed the power lack on the effects of El Niño which caused the capacity reduction of the Agus-Pulangui Hydropower Plants and the implementation of a seven-day corrective maintenance shutdown on the 150-MW unit 2 of Therma South Inc.

The 150-MW of TSI 1 started commercial operation last September 2015 while the 150-MW TSI 2 is currently undergoing “reliability test” before it will go on commercial operation next month.

The DLPC’s franchise area will lose 50 MW with the shutdown of the 100 mw contracted capacity from the 300 Therma South Energy in Toril, Davao City.

“With this, Davao Light’s total power supply will only be at 233 MW insufficient to supply the forecasted demand in its franchise of 320 MW and 290 MW, on Saturday and Sunday, respectively,” it added.

The power situation will also worsen on Monday with demand projected to reach at 340 MW, which may cause three hours of rotating brownouts during peak hours from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and 1 hour during off-peak hours from 9 p.m. to 8 a,m.

Last week, the DLPC informed its power consumers that allocation from the National Power Corporation (NPC) further went down due to El Niño.

“The contract of Davao Light to NPC-PSALM was already reduced from 289 MW to 140 MW. However, Davao Light is not getting in full its contracted power supply as major hydro electric power plants in Mindanao were greatly affected by El Nino,” DLPC said in an advisory issued on January 14, 2016.

Tower bombings

The DLPC also cited as reason for the power deficiency the attacks on the towers of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), which is in-charge of power distribution.

The grid operator reported two towers bombings in January this year – Tower 50 and Tower 63 – and 16 towers, nine toppled and seven damaged, in 2015.

The Christmas eve bombing of NGCP’s tower 25 in Ramain, Lanao del Norte isolated Agus 1 and Agus 2. At least 58 megawatts were lost in the Mindanao grid after the incident that further worsened the power situation in Mindanao.

The DLPC will tap other supply contracts with the following other generating plants: Therma Marine Inc. for 30 MW, the Unit 1 of the TSI coal-fired power plant for 50 MW, Hedcor Sibulan for 39 MW, Hedcor Talomo for 3 MW and the Western Mindanao Power Corporation for 15 MW.

The 40-MW Bajada Power Plant will also be tapped while the Interruptible Load Program (ILP) “will still be activated to help mitigate the impact of the very tight power supply situation.

Last January 8, Therma South Inc. inaugurated its 300 MW coal-fired poweplant worth P35 billion.

This supplies at least 20 electric cooperatives and distribution utilities across Mindanao.

The power plant will supply power to the cities of Davao, Cagayan de Oro, General Santos, Butuan, Kidapawan, Cotabato and Tagum, and the provinces of Davao region, Caraga region, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, parts of Bukidnon, parts of Misamis and parts of Zamboanga peninsula. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)