Davao Light says shutdown of TSI won’t affect franchise area

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/25 May) – The franchise area of the Davao Light and Power Company will be spared from rotational brownouts when sister company Therma South Inc. implements a one-month preventive maintenance shutdown on the 150-megawatt unit 2 of its coal-fired power plant in Brgy. Binugao, Toril.

But in “Wednesdays’ at Habi at Kape” at Abreeza Mall, DLPC assistant vice president for Reputation Enhance Rossano Luga said this will be the scenario if all suppliers are operational and there are no attacks on transmission lines.

He added they have not foreseen rotational brownouts after the National Power Corporation allotted the highest capacity of 183 MW for DLPC due to increased water levels.

It is still studying the impact of the one-month shutdown, the longest for TSI so far this year, because it has started to rain and the distribution utility has tapped Southern Philippines Power Corp. for additional 50 MW.

DLPC contracts 100 MW from the TSI (50 MW from TSI 1 and 50 MW from TSI 2).

The coal-fired power plant delivers the rest of its capacity over 20 electric cooperatives and distribution utilities in Caraga, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, and parts of Bukidnon, Misamis and Zamboanga Peninsula.

As of May 24, DLPC had received 178 MW, short by five MW of its 183-MW contracted capacity from NPC.

“Biggest factor is that we are able to get enough power from the biggest supplier – NPC PSALM (Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation),” he said, adding the power DLPC sourced from NPC reduced due to the El Niño phenomenon in the previous months.

On Tuesday, TSI announced it will undertake a one-month shutdown of its unit 2 to facilitate maintenance works and another shutdown for TSI 1 later this year.

At least 130 MW (20 MW is allotted for house load, or the capacity needed to run the system) will be lost from the Mindanao grid due to the shutdown.

“We are confident that after this outage, TSI should be better equipped to reliably meet the needs of our customers as the rainy season begins in Mindanao. We will try our best to keep the duration of this interruption to a minimum,” said TSI President and COO Sebastian R. Lacson.

The P35-billion coal-fired power plant was inaugurated last Jan. 8 and has since experienced four shutdowns – once for TSI 1 and thrice for TSI 2.

The first shutdown for TSI 2 lasted for eight days, from Jan. 26 to Feb. 2, followed by a 10-day shutdown, from Feb. 16 to 26 and then on March 3.

TSI 1, meanwhile, bogged down last April 6 but was synchronized back to the grid on April 17.

To jack up supply, Luga said they will encourage power consumers to apply interruptible load program or ILP, meaning large power customers will de-load from the grid and run their own generator sets, and run the Bajada Power Plant.

Luga was hoping the other power producers will run smoothly during the shutdown so that DLPC’s franchise area – Davao City, Brgy. Bincungan in Tagum City, and Carmen, Sto. Tomas and Braulio Dujali towns in Davao del Norte – will not suffer from brownouts.

“We are last in the food chain. Hopefully, we do not need to implement rotational brownouts. We are able to cover the shortfall through the contingency measures through ILP and BPP (Bajada Power Plant),” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)