Aboitiz power plant under 10-day maintenance shutdown

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 17 Feb) – Therma South Inc. (TSI), a wholly owned subsidiary of Aboitiz Power, announced on Tuesday that it has implemented a 10-day preventive maintenance shutdown on its 150-MW coal-fed TSI 1 power plant from Feb. 16 to 26 that resulted in two- to three-hour rotational brownouts within the franchise area of Davao Light and Power Company (DLPC).

In an emailed statement from Aboitiz Power, it only stated that the shutdown was enforced to prevent problems from “recurring in the future” without specifically identifying what these issues are.

The 150-MW second unit of TSI has remained operational, it said.

In a separate statement, DLPC said it is left with 275 MW of available power to supply the consumers from its average daily demand of 345 MW.

“The exact time when the power interruption will start in a given time frame still cannot be determined as the power supply allocation varies every hour. The number of feeders as well to be interrupted depends on the supply deficit on a certain hour in a day,” it stated.

The TSI 1 started commercial operation September last year.

A total of 100 MW – 50 MW each from TSI 1 and TSI 2 – has been contracted to DLPC, another fully-owned subsidiary of Aboitiz Power, while the rest will be delivered to more than 20 electric cooperatives and distribution utilities in Caraga, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, parts of Bukidnon, parts of Misamis and parts of Zamboanga Peninsula

The DLPC franchise area covers Davao City, Brgy. Bincungan in Tagum City, and Carmen, Sto. Tomas and Braulio Dujali towns in Davao del Norte.

Last January 23 to February 2, the second unit of TSI was under a corrective maintenance shutdown, just more than two weeks before the inauguration of the 300-MW Therma South Energy Project in Binugao, Toril on January 8.

“For the past weeks, Davao Light was able to avoid the implementation of the rotating power interruptions despite the continued Mindanao-wide grid deficiency due to the El Nino and the bombings of transmission lines,” it said.

The power utility is optimizing supply contracts from Therma Marine Inc. with 30 MW, Unit 1 of TSI coal-fired power plant with 50 MW, Hedcor Sibulan with 38 MW, Hedcor Talomo with 3 MW and the Western Mindanao Power Corporation with 15 MW.

The diesel-fed Bajada Power Plant will be tapped to fill in the supply gap of 70 MW.

The Interruptible Load Program, a measure wherein the industries and companies would de-load from the grid and run their own generator sets, will still be “activated to help mitigate the impact of the very tight power supply situation.”

During the “Wednesdays” forum at Habi at Kape in Abreeza of the Ayala Malls, Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) chair Luwalhati Antonino said that the island is not supposed to have brownouts after having a sufficient power supply.

“We were successful (in adding more capacity) but it’s not being seen right now due to natural and not-so natural causes,” she said.

The major plant shutdown has affected the supply situation in other distribution utilities, DLPC stated.

The rotating power interruption is implemented to prevent Mindanao-grid collapse, which might result when demand exceeds supply.