08 AUGUST 2012
Blackouts hit Mindanao anew
SOME parts of Mindanao suffered power interruptions again due to declining generation capacity brought about by emergency shutdown and preventive maintenance operations of some plants in the island.
Milfrance Capulong, National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) corporate communications officer for Mindanao, said the power situation is back to red alert status anew, which means there is a severe deficiency in supply.
“There has been an increase in the curtailment level since August 1. Power deficiency in the Mindanao grid has reached a high 400 megawatts last Monday,” Capulong said.
She said last week’s Typhoon Gener also affected some of NGCP’s transmission facilities, contributing to the problem.
Capulong, however, did not identify the power plants that went on emergency shutdown, as well as on preventive maintenance.
She could not also say when the power supply would be sufficient that would warrant no load shedding.
On Wednesday afternoon, several areas in Cagayan de Oro also suffered power interruptions.
Lloyd Gabriel U. Castillo of the Cagayan Electric Power and Light Company (Cepalco) said the power interruption was unscheduled.
“The NGCP shut down its line in Natumulan, Tagoloan due to some sparks in the transmission lines,” Castillo told Sun.Star.
On Sunday, several areas in Cagayan de Oro and some parts of Misamis Oriental also suffered a 12-hour power interruption after Cepalco made use of NGCP’s annual preventive maintenance on its 100-MVA power transformer and associated high voltage equipment at its Tagoloan substation, with the power firm also doing its line maintenance works along the Natumulan-Cagayan 69-kilovolt line.
Santiago Tudio, manager of South Cotabato Electric Cooperative 1, said the brownouts in Mindanao would continue unless new power plants would rise, blaming the lack of power supply buffeting the island to the generation deficiency.
Tudio said the National Power Corporation-operated Agus and Pulangi hydropower plants have declining capacities due to low water level.
He added that supply coming from Therma Marine Corp., a subsidiary of Aboitiz Power Corporation, was also reduced due to a problem on its facility.
Steag State Power Inc., which has two plants in Misamis Oriental each capable of producing 100 Megawatts (MW), was supposed to go into preventive maintenance over the weekend but did not push through, according to Jerome R. Soldevilla, the company’s spokesperson.
“The first unit was supposed to be shut down for preventive maintenance on August 4 to 5 but it didn’t happen since our technical personnel had fixed those needing repairs beforehand,” Soldevilla said.
He said the second unit was scheduled for repair on August 18 and 19 but this again won’t happen anymore because “we had the opportunity to fix things even before.”
He said in effect, the Mindanao grid would be spared a total loss of 400 MW in a four-day period since the scheduled shutdown for preventive maintenance had been and will be waived.
Read article source in Sun Star Cagayan de Oro