Coal plant shuts down 1st unit for preventive maintenance

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/30 July) – Preventive maintenance for the Mindanao Coal-fired Power Plant in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental started last July 15 and will last until August 14, a company official said.

Jerome Soldevilla, communications officer of STEAG State Power Incorporated (SPI) which operates the plant, said in a phone interview the maintenance will only cover one of two units of the 210-megawatt (MW) of the facility.

Each unit carries a capacity of 105 MW, he said, adding the second unit is set for maintenance works on September 21 to October 27.

Soldevilla admitted that shutting down one unit will affect the contribution of the plant to the Mindanao power grid.

“So from 20%, it will probably only account for 10% since half of the total capacity is shut down,” he explained.

But he said they are counting on other sources such as hydropower plants to provide sufficient power to the island.

“The scheduling of the maintenance was actually critical, but we planned to do it during the rainy season since we know there would be enough water supply for hydropower plants to operate and provide more power for the island,” he said.

He also said that the annual preventive maintenance is necessary to make sure their power generators are functioning well.

In a media advisory, SPI said that the goal is “to minimize the impact of any possible power supply shortfall in the island.”

SPI, in partnership with Aboitiz Power Corp. and La Filipina Uygongco Corp., accounts for 20% of Mindanao’s power generation mix.

As of June 2013, SPI said, its plant has provided 9.6 billion kilowatt hours of electricity to the Mindanao grid.

The plant, which sits on a 55.42-hectare location at the PHIVIDEC Industrial Estate in Villanueva, started to operate on November 15, 2006. (Florienne Melendrez/MindaNews)