DLPC eyeing other power sources as dry spell worsens

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/26 January) — Davao Light and Power Company will tap other power sources in Mindanao in anticipation of higher demand vis-a-vis declining supply from hydropower facilities caused by the El Niño phenomenon.

The dry spell has reduced water inflow to Lake Lanao in Lanao del Sur and Pulangui River in Bukidnon and with it the generating capacity of the hydropower complexes there.

The hydropower plants supply the Mindanao grid with over half of its power needs.

Speaking in Monday’s Kapehan sa Dabaw, Rossano Luga, DLPC assistant vice president for Reputation and Enhancement Department Administration, said they are negotiating with Southern Philippines Power Corporation and San Miguel Consolidated Power Corporation, which might run in April and July, respectively.

“We are rationing whatever available power there is,” he said.

He said that this month DLPC has been marred with power woes after receiving only 105 megawatts of its contracted capacity of 151 MW.

He added they are in talks with the National Power Corp. to increase its allocation for DLPC.

Luga said unit 2 of Therma South Inc. was currently on a seven-day corrective maintenance shutdown, from Jan. 23 to 29.

Since its inauguration last Jan. 8, TSI has been supplying the franchise area of DLPC, covering Davao City, Brgy. Bincungan in Tagum City, and Carmen, Sto. Tomas and Braulio Dujali towns in Davao del Norte, with 68 MW, said Zandro Chan Ramos, systems operations manager of DLPC.

But when it goes on commercial operation on Feb. 2, it will only supply DLPC franchise area with 50 MW, its contracted capacity with the 2nd unit of TSI.

Other sources such as Alsons’ Western Mindanao Power Corporation supplies DLPC with 18 MW, Therma Marine Inc. (TMI) with 30 MW, and Hedcor-Sibulan with with 48 MW.

Luga said DLPC is experiencing a deficit of 90 MW translating to three hours of rotating brownouts.

DLPC’s demand on Monday is expected to peak at 340 MW.

“Our total demand is higher than the supply,” he said.

He added the Bajada Power Plant has been running since last year to fill in the supply gap.

This fuel-fed power plant has an installed capacity of 64 MW but delivers only 28 MW.

During power lack, he said, some companies would implement an interruptible load program, which means deloading from the grid and running their own generator sets.

For every 1 MW of power saved, Luga said, at least 4,167 of consumers can be saved from brownouts.

DLPC has a total of 350,000 consumers.

Zandro Chan Ramos, DLPC systems operations manager said consumers can expect an increase in the cost of power since they are getting sources from expensive fuel power plants. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)