Friday, October 5, 2012

Mindanao faces another power crisis

MANILA, Philippines - Mindanao could face another power crisis as a major coal plant is shutting down for preventive maintenance. The 105-megawatt unit 1 of Steag State Power Inc. said it will stop operations from Oct. 6 to Nov. 4 while the 105-MW unit 2 will be shut down from Oct. 29 to Nov. 10. It will be the first time for Steag to conduct a preventive maintenance shutdown. “Carrying out the maintenance works as planned and scheduled will bring in long-term benefits to the Mindanao power consumers in terms the power plant’s operational reliability,” Steag said. Over the past six years of its operations, the Mindanao power plant has recorded an availability rate of 93.3 percent and an unplanned outage rate of less than one percent. The company said it has delivered more than 8.3 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, representing about 20 percent of Mindanao’s total power supply. However, Mindanao has been reeling from supply shortage and rotating brownouts since early this year. Mindanao’s peak demand stood at 1,218 MW as opposed to a supply of 1,045 MW as of yesterday, data from the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) showed. Steag said NGCP approved the shutdown of Steag based on the recommendation of the Mindanao Grid Operations and Maintenance Planning Group. The group is composed of NGCP, National Power Corp. and independent power producers.  - By Neil Jerome Morales