NGCP places Mindanao power status under ‘yellow alert’

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/03 January) — The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines has placed Mindanao under a “yellow alert” status as the Agus 1 and 2 hydropower plants remained isolated 12 days after the bombing of its Tower 25, one of the two towers bombed on Christmas eve.

In her Facebook post late evening on Saturday, NGCP Mindanao spokesperson Milfrance Capulong said they were prompted to issue such alert status after the regulating reserve was only recorded at 45 MW as of 6 p.m. on New Year’s Day.

“Despite lower power consumption brought about by the cold weather and yearend holidays, NGCP still placed the Mindanao grid on Yellow alert, with the reserves falling below required levels,” she said.

In NGCP parlance, a “yellow alert” means the contingency reserve is less than the capacity of the largest synchronized unit of the grid. The Agus 1 and Agus 2 have a combined installed capacity of 150 MW.

The bombing of Tower 25 caused a decrease of 58 MW in power supply.

Capulong said restoration was stopped because the negotiation between them and the landowner where the tower is located had failed.

“The owner refused NGCP entry to repair the toppled tower alleging that government failed to pay his claims long ago,” she added.

She said the NGCP is expecting the power supply situation to worsen as classes and work resume on Monday.

As of Sunday, Mindanao’s power reserve was at 183 MW.

“NGCP is appealing to the public, local and national government, PNP and AFP to help monitor the safety of the towers so that transmission services remain uninterrupted. The company also appeals to local community leaders to help identify the perpetrators of the bombings, and to negotiate with uncooperative landowners, to prevent longer power interruptions,” she said.

Also on Christmas Eve, Tower 95 in Barangay Aroman, Carmen in North Cotabato was bombed. It was repaired on Dec. 27.

Last Dec. 28, unidentified persons bombed NGCP’s Tower 4 at Baloi-Agus 2 in Lanao del Norte.

The Agus-Pulangui hydropower complex has an installed capacity of 837.2 MW, accounting for over half of Mindanao’s power supply. The rest comes from coal, diesel, and geothermal sources.

Aboitiz Power Corp.’s 150 MW unit 2 of Therma South Inc. (TSI) will be commissioned on Friday.

The first unit of TSI with 150 MW installed capacity went on full commercial operation last September 2015.