Mindanao power supply to ease in June
MANILA, Philippines—The power situation in Mindanao may normalize by June, which means that the two-hour rotating brownouts in the island may be reduced to an hour in certain areas.
Mindanao had a supply-demand gap of about 200 megawatts even before the massive blackout hit the whole island last month.
The Mindanao coal-fired power plant, the last major power plant still having trouble restarting, may resume normal operations by June 1, its operator said in an advisory Friday.
Energy officials said Friday that the plant might resume operations by June 4.
Steag State Power Inc. (SPI) said Units 1 and 2 of the plant had been offline since the Mindanao-wide outage on Feb. 27 after its turbine-generators sustained damage.
“SPI experts estimate that barring any complications, Unit 1 is expected to be restored on May 4 and Unit 2 on June 1. Each unit has a net generating capacity of 105 MW,” SPI president and chief executive officer Bodo Goerlich said.
Earlier, Energy Undersecretary Raul Aguilos said the Mindanao coal power plant Unit 1 was set to resume operations by May 4 and Unit 2 by June 4.
The power plant, located at the Phividec Industrial Estate in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental, accounts for about 20 percent of Mindanao’s total power supply.
State transmission firm National Transmission Corp. (TransCo) found that there was an “unwanted loss” of generation of the Steag units and an abrupt increase in electricity demand was not handled well by the antiquated Agus 1 Hydroelectric Power Plant in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur, company president Rolando Bacani said in a briefing.
This caused power from Agus to trip, which then spread system-wide such that Mindanao experienced an island-wide blackout, Bacani said.
“The blackout in Mindanao was due to a demand and supply imbalance caused by underfrequency due to a combination of events of unwanted loss of generation of the Steag units. The defective equipment of Agus 1 and insufficient automatic load dropping at off-peak scenario,” Bacani said.
The TransCo official said that had the Mindanao coal plant and Agus event happened on their own, there would not have been a collapse of the system. “It happened that there was a combination of events that led to the collapse of the system,” Bacani said.
Goerlich, however, expressed “surprise” over reports that the massive blackout in Mindanao was caused by or stemmed from Steag.
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