20 MAY 2012
200-MW power shortfall seen in Mindanao in 2013
POWER supply in the Mindanao grid might continue to remain precarious up to next year, Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras told reporters.
The energy chief said in an interview that they forecast the Mindanao grid to have a 200-megawatt (MW) shortfall by next year.
Almendras said power supply in the Mindanao grid would really depend on rainfall, and the grid could really have a problem in power supply if demand increase during the summer months.
He said they the Mindanao grid is running at the most bare requirements, and that the regulating reserves is sometimes below 100 MW.
There is a need to put in place the 100-MW contingency reserve, he said, in addition to the present reserve in order to prepare for the additional demand.
Almendras said the Mindanao grid continues to be in a precarious situation amid the improvement in power supply.
“I must insist that the power supply in Mindanao is still critical as there are no contingency reserves. Thus, in the event of a failure in any of the power-generation equipment, this will automatically result in a shortfall and blackouts. We must not be complacent, and we must continue to acknowledge the urgency of increasing the generation capacity in Mindanao,” he said.
To be able to address the critical power supply, Almendras enumerated key initiatives. They include the resolution of the problems in operating and rehabilitating the Iligan Diesel Power Plant that could add 100 MW in seven to eight months; rehabilitation and transfer of 120 MW of privately owned power-barge generation; and the most cost-efficient and speedy rehabilitation and transfer to Mindanao of the 96 MW of power barges presently operated by the National Power Corp. (Napocor).
He added that it is important to highlight that despite the absence of curtailment resulting in rotating blackout, they should focus on the urgent measures they have to follow through.
Almendras appealed to the people in Mindanao and the local government units to cooperate and support these initiatives.
“We must accelerate new power generation projects, both traditional and renewable energies,” he noted.
Almendras added that there are several power-generation projects, including renewables, in Mindanao that should have been started in 2010 that could have contributed to the Mindanao power supply by early 2013, which are still not being implemented.
“We appeal to everyone to allow these initiatives to be started and accelerated as soon as possible,” Almendras said.
He further said that the Pulangi IV is back online adding 200 MW
to the Mindanao grid after undergoing repairs and rehabilitation of the headrace channel that began on April 17.
“The successful repairs and rehabilitation was completed nine days ahead of schedule. We have received reports indicating that there are no more rotating blackouts in Mindanao for the past two days,” Almendras said.
The energy chief commended Napocor and its contractors who have completed the repairs way ahead of schedule.
Napocor said in a statement that rehabilitation of the Pulangi IV Hydroelectric Power Plant in Bukidnon was nine days ahead of the original target date of May 17 and boosts prospects that the tight power supply situation in Mindanao will soon normalize.
Froilan Tampinco, Napocor president, said the repair of the 26-year-old power plant was completed earlier than scheduled due to the concerted efforts of Napocor’s operations personnel and Mamasar Construction, the contractor for the rehab project.
“Our plant personnel at Pulangi IV worked 24/7 with our private contractor to bring the power plant back on-line at the earliest time possible, and for this we commend them,” he added.
Read article source in Business Mirror, May 20, 2012