Davao Light expects 2-hour rotating brownouts

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 18 Feb) – The scheduled preventive maintenance of the 210-megawatt coal-fired power plants of Steag State Power Inc. is seen to result to two-hour maximum rotating brownouts within the franchise area of the distribution utility Davao Light and Power Co. (DLPC).

This was the projection made by the distribution utility as it cited Wednesday in a statement that the power situation “could worsen during the simultaneous maintenance service” of Steag’s two units between Feb. 21 and March 2.

To mitigate the impact of the tight energy supply situation, Rossano Luga, corporate communication officer of DLPC, said the company would run its 40-MW diesel-fired standby plant and activate the interruptible load program (ILP) which could pool in 38 MW from 22 participating companies.

ILP is a program when the participating companies use their own generating sets instead of getting power from the grid. Some of the distribution utility’s participating companies include Gaisano Mall of Davao, Pepsi Cola, Coca-Cola, Mindanao Corrugated Fibreboard Inc. and Sumifru.

Luga said they also contracted Hedcor Inc.’s Sibulan and Talomo hydroelectric power plants and the power barge of Therma Marine Inc. Both Hedcor and Therma Marine Inc. are sister companies of DLPC.

The DLPC has about 329,000 costumers within its franchise area in the cities of Davao and Panabo and the municipalities of Carmen, Dujali and Sto. Tomas in Davao del Norte.

The Mindanao grid was still in stable power situation with a reserve of 9 MW as of Wednesday, data from National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) showed. The grid had system capacity of 1,371 MW against the system peak of 1,362 MW.

Steag said in a statement that it will place its first power plant on preventive maintenance from Feb. 19 to March 2 while its second unit from Feb. 21 to March 16. The company’s coal-fired power plants are located in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental.

“These maintenance activities are part of the company’s commitment to sustain quality customer service by way of ensuring that the power plant is able to optimize its long-term operations and produce power needed to sustain Mindanao’s growth and development,” said Steag manager Carsten Evers.

Evers said they have carefully planned the schedule to have preventive maintenance in cooperation with NGCP. “We hope to complete the maintenance activities as planned and within schedule and to bring the units back to grid as soon as possible,” he said.