Power firm assures no brownouts next year in Davao City

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/25 August) — Davao Light and Power Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Aboitiz Power Corp., on Tuesday assured consumers there will be no rotational brownouts within its franchise area during summer months next year.

This was announced by DLPC senior vice president Arturo Milan during the National Grid Power Corporation’s Mindanao Power Situation Forum at the SMX Convention Center Davao.

Milan said they will augment their existing power reserve of 100 megawatts by contracting 50 MW of the 150-MW second unit of Therma South Inc., a coal-fired power plant also owned by Aboitiz Power which will be commissioned by March next year.

He added that due to the looming power crisis brought about by the El Nino the power firm is doing all it can to run TSI’s second unit by end of this year to fill in the power lack.

He said they are projecting the demand for Davao City next year would be 355 MW and the additional 50 MW it will contract from TSI – on top of its existing 100 mw reserve –would be enough to prevent rotational brownouts.

“With our contract and those they (National Power Corporation) are contracting with, we have more than enough to cover us,” he said.

Milan said the power situation within its franchise area is seen to get worse in the next five days as the 150-MW unit 1 of TSI will be shut down in preparation for its commercial operation.

“Next year may additional capacity na papasok but in the next five days medyo tight ang supply, possible rotational brownouts,” he said.

He said the plant shutdown might result in 1- to 2-hour rotational brownouts.

He said that DLPC is “preparing for the worst” although rotational brownouts might not happen if the NPC supplies them with sufficient power.

Milan reiterated that there should be enough baseload plants in Mindanao that don’t depend on ample rainfall unlike the hydropower plants.

The Agus and Pulangui hydropower complexes supply 55 percent of Mindanao’s power capacity.

“In Mindanao, we are so dependent on hydro, and every summer period, we are very much affected because the water level is low,” Milan said.

Romeo Montenengro, director for investment promotions, international relations, and media affairs of Mindanao Development Authority, said they want for Mindanao a balanced power mix – 50 percent hyrdo and 50 percent fuel.

The demand of DLPC’s franchise area is between 300 and 340 MW but as of Tuesday, the supply it got from NPC was only 218 MW out of its 280-MW contracted capacity.

DLPC is tapping its standby Bajada Diesel Power Plant with a sustained capacity of 40 MW.

DLPC also has contracted power capacity from Hedcor’s Tudaya 1 with 6.6 MW and the 42.5 MW of Sibulan A and B in Davao del Sur. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)