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Davao City suffers from power outages

/ 12:08 AM March 06, 2014

DAVAO CITY, Philippines—For the first time since 2010, the city—like most of Mindanao—is experiencing power outages again.

One to two-hour rotational power interruptions followed the partial restoration of supply after the Feb. 27 massive blackout on the island.

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Davao Light and Power Co. (DLPC) blamed, among other factors, the continued failure of the German firm Steag to restore two coal-fired power turbines in Misamis Oriental, according to its corporate affairs head Ross Luga.

Jerome Soldevilla, Steag communications officer, has admitted in a news release that the company’s two power plants in Villanueva town, which supply 300 megawatts (MW) of electricity to the Mindanao grid, remained nonfunctional.

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Steag’s facility is currently Mindanao’s biggest in terms of unit capacity, supplying about a fifth of its total electricity supply since it started operations in November 2006.

Soldevilla said the sudden power interruption on Feb. 27 damaged the turbines of the coal-fired plant.

Repair of the units may take several weeks or more, said Dr. Carsten Evers, the plant manager.

“We understand and recognize the precarious and very volatile power supply condition of Mindanao and we would like to assure all our stakeholders, especially the power consumers, that (Steag Philippines) is working round-the-clock to restore the units back on line,” Evers said in a statement.

Luga said the one-hour rotating power interruption in Davao City could extend up to two hours, depending on the availability of power on a given schedule.

The rotational brownouts seek to provide a “more equitable sharing of the available power that remains in the DLPC service areas,” he said.

These also “help to avoid a total collapse of the entire Mindanao transmission grid, which happens when the demand for power exceeds the available supply,” the statement from DLPC said.

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As of March 4, National Grid  Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) reported an 86-MW deficit in the grid.

Steag has yet to complete its comprehensive inspection and assessment of the turbine generating sets and will come up with a schedule and timetable for the actual repair in the next few days, Soldevilla said.

Until this time, NGCP officials and the Department of Energy (DOE) could not explain how the massive power outage started.

The DOE said in a report that government agencies were still looking into the cause of the system-wide shutdown.

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TAGS: Davao, News, power industry, power outage, Regions
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