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Aquino to inaugurate 300-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Davao City Friday

MANILA, Philippines — In his first official provincial trip this year, President Aquino flies to Davao City on Friday (Jan. 8) to inaugurate a 300-megawatt coal-fired power plant of Therma South Inc. (TSI), a subsidiary of Aboitiz Power Corp. (ABC).

The facility’s two 150-mw units, in Toril, Davao City, and Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur, are expected to boost the baseload capacity of the Mindanao grid.

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The plant’s first 150-mw unit started commercial operations in September after delays due to brownouts following the outage of the Mt. Apo geothermal facilities and the coal-fired power plant of Steag State Power Inc.

The TSI’s second unit is on a commissioning phase.

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The President has promised more reliable energy supply in Mindanao by building the Davao coal-fired power plant, among other facilities.

In a related development, Malacañang said the Department of Energy has been coordinating efforts to ensure reliable power supply in Mindanao.

On reports that the Mindanao grid might collapse due to delay in the repair of toppled transmission towers of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said the power supply for the region has been coming from different sources, including hydroelectric power plants.

“The power grid in the region is not solely dependent on these transmission towers, which are connected to the Agus-Pulangi hydroelectric power plants,” he pointed out.

Quoting Energy Secretary Zenaida Monsada, he said the Lanao del Sur government has been “working with other local government units, as well as the NGCP, to beef up security for these transmission towers and to address right-of-way issues with land owners.”

Coloma also disclosed that “an additional capacity of up to 600 mw will come on stream in the first half of the year, starting with the additional power plant of the Aboitiz Group, which the President will inaugurate on Friday (Jan. 8).”

The NGCP said on Wednesday only one transmission line – the Maramag-Bunawan 38-kilovolt line – has been operational.

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“If the said line is compromised, no power will flow from the remaining Agus hydro facilities to southern Mindanao, where the bulk of power demand is located,” NGCP said.

It said both Davao City and General Santos City have been placed “in real danger of being completely cut off from the bulk supply coming from the hydro-facilities.”

The Mindanao grid was placed on red alert the other day due to the isolation of the Agus 1 and Agus 2 hydroelectric power plants — the second time this week the grid was placed on alert.

Last month, four NGCP transmission lines were bombed by lawless elements as the firm expressed fear more bombings might aggravate the power shortage in the southern Philippines.

The Palace said Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte would be joining the President and Energy Secretary Zenaida Monsada in Friday’s TSI power plant inauguration.

The city will be placed under heightened alert status during Mr. Aquino’s visit.

The Davao police have not received reports on threats from criminal groups against the President’s trip, said the city police spokesperson, Chief Insp. Milgrace Driz, who appealed to militants planning rallies to make them peaceful.  SFM

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TAGS: Aboitiz Power Corp., Agus 1 and Agus 2 hydroelectric power plants, Agus-Pulangi hydroelectric power plants, Benigno Aquino III, Bombing, Brownout, coal-fired power plants, Department of Energy, Electricity production and distribution, executive department, Herminio Coloma, inauguration, Malacañang, Maramag-Bunawan 38-kilovolt line, Mt. Apo geothermal facilities, National Grid Corp. of the Philippines, news, NGCP, Office of the President, Philippine president, power outage, power shortage, Power supply, power transmission lines, Regions, right of way, right of way issues, Steag State Power Inc., Therma South Inc.
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