13 OCTOBER 2012
Brownouts return to Mindanao areas
DAVAO CITY—The scourge of businesses and homes in Mindanao, power outages, has returned.
Daily outages of up to three hours have started to plague consumers in Mindanao following the shutdown of a coal plant in Misamis Oriental that supplies 105 megawatts of electricity. Officials said the plant stopped operations for maintenance work.
The outages, however, are likely to worsen as the Misamis Oriental plant’s operator, Steag State Power, is expected to shut down another plant, also with a capacity of 105 megawatts, for maintenance, too.
Milfrance Capulong, spokesperson of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), told reporters here on Wednesday that maintenance work on the Misamis Oriental coal plant started on Oct. 6 and will last until Nov. 4.
By Oct. 29, another coal-fired plant operated by Steag State Power will also be shut down for the same reason until Nov. 10, Capulong said.
The NGCP spokesperson said the repairs were needed “to bring long-term benefits to Mindanao power consumers.”
Steag started operating the plants in 2006.
As a result of the plant shutdown, the combined power generating capacity of electricity suppliers in Mindanao plunged to 944 megawatts, way below the current power demand of 1,233 megawatts per day, according to Capulong.
The outages, she said, were “neither a transmission nor a distribution problem, but a generation issue.”
Capulong said the Department of Energy (DOE) has promised to send in two floating power generators—with a combined capacity of 200 megawatts—from the Visayas to help fill the gap in power supply in Mindanao.
These, however, have not arrived yet.
Luwalhati Antonino, chair of the Mindanao Development Authority (Minda), said the government plans to tap a diesel power plant in Iligan City with a capacity of 100 megawatts and privately-owned industrial generators to boost power supply in Mindanao.
Antonino said Minda earlier convened a meeting with the DOE and other agencies. Tapping diesel-fired plants was among the immediate solutions seen in Mindanao’s latest ordeal with electricity shortage, she said.
Read article source in Inquirer.Net