Mindanao power still precarious

MINDANAO’S power supply has continued to be problematic as some units of different power plants have been shut down for preventive maintenance, data from the inter-agency Mindanao Power Monitoring Committee (MPMC) bared.

Data from MPMC showed that the 10-MW unit three of Southern Philippine Power Corp., 54-MW unit one of Mt. Apo Geothermal Power Plant and 105-MW unit two of Steag State Power were shut down for preventive maintenance until the second week this month.

The 25-MW unit two of the state-owned Agus 6 hydropower complex, meanwhile, was turned off while Units three and four of Agus 6 with combined capacity of 100 MW were under preventive maintenance since May.

The water levels of Lake Lanao and Agus and Pulangui dams, where the state-owned Agus and Pulangui utilizing to run their respective hydroelectric plants, also dropped, which breached critical points as of July 21. This prompted Mindanao to have low supply of power as the island is still highly dependent on hydropower sources.

As of July 30, the MPMC observed that the Agus hydropower plants only supplied 299 MW to the grid out of its installed capacity at 727 MW.

With the lack of sufficient power supply, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines said on its daily monitoring outlook that as of yesterday, the Mindanao grid was short by 175 MW. The island’s system capacity was 1,162 MW while its system peak was 1,337 MW.

Romeo M. Montenegro, director of investment promotions and public affairs of Mindanao Development Authority, told the reporters yesterday at the sidelines on the Power 101 at its agency’s office that the island was projected to be deficient by 288 MW.

“We are presently in a precarious situation,” Montenegro said, adding the island’s power supply situation may not normalize yet as low water levels are observed on where the Agus and Pulangui hydropower complexes are sourcing.

Following the lack of power supply in the Mindanao grid, the Davao Light and Power Company (DLPC) announced Thursday that it implemented three to fours of rotating power interruptions within its franchise area.

As of Thursday, Arturo M. Milan, executive vice president and chief operating officer of DLPC, said the National Power Corp. (NPC) was only able to provide them with 162.91 MW against its contracted supply of 280 MW.

The total demand projection of the distribution utility, Milan said, was 326.25 MW. Apart from getting supply from NPC, it is tapping its embedded 33-MW Bajada diesel plant and from its sister companies, which include 60-MW of Therma South Inc., 30-MW power barges of Therma Marine Inc. and 37-MW from the hydro plants of Hedcor Inc.

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