AboitizPower to proceed with NPCC rehab

By Danessa Rivera – November 5, 2018 – 12:00am
The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Aboitiz Power Corp. is proceeding with the rehabilitation of the 153.1-megawatt (MW) Naga Power Plant Complex (NPPC) in Cebu, with the first diesel unit operating at higher capacity by the first quarter of 2019 to boost capacity in the Visayas grid, a ranking company official said.

The study being done on the power complex is nearly completed which details the company’s plan to raise the power units’ output to its nameplate capacity, AboitizPower COO Emmanuel Rubio told The STAR.

“We’re almost done with the study. We’ll go ahead with the rehab,” he said. “We’d like to bring it to its nameplate capacity, that’s the plan,” Rubio said.

NPPC has a 43.8-MW Cebu diesel power plant composed of six 7.3-MW bunker oil power units.

“When we took over, it was contracted to provide 25 MW of reserves. We would like to go beyond that,” Rubio said.

For the rehabilitation plan, the first unit is targeted to start running at full capacity by the first quarter of next year, followed by the other units.

“We’re looking at the first unit to be available before the end of first quarter of 2019. We’ll be producing, we’ll be able to run, complete rehabilitation, at the latest the end of first quarter 2019,” Rubio said.

“We’ll rehab one unit at a time. Before the end of 2019, we’ll have all the units available,” he said.

Once completed, the output of NPPC’s diesel plant will be offered to the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) as ancillary service (AS) to ensure the stability and reliability of the Visayas power grid.

“We will be working with NGCP to actually have an agreement with them. Naga was providing ancillary before we [took over]. In fact, the units were certified by NGCP to provide dispatchable reserves,” Rubio said.

AS is necessary to support the transmission of capacity and energy from resources to loads while maintaining reliable operation of the transmission system in accordance with good utility practice and the grid code.

The Aboitiz group took over NPPC after state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) turned over NPPC to AboitizPower unit Therma Power Visayas Inc. (TPVI) earlier this year.

This was in accordance with the Supreme Court’s final decision in October 2016. The SC decision also reinstated the Notice of Award dated April 30, 2014 in favor of TPVI.

PSALM issued the Certificate of Effectivity of the Asset Purchase Agreement last May 18 which TPVI accepted on May 23. SPC returned NPPC to PSALM on July 13.

The NPPC contract is a 25-year lease over the land containing the Naga complex. Located in Colon, Naga City, the power facility consists of two thermal power plants and one diesel-fired power plant that use a combination of coal, bunker oil and diesel as fuel.

Apart from the diesel plant component, NPPC also consists of the 52.5-MW Cebu 1 and 56.8-MW Cebu 2 coal-fired thermal power plants.

However, AboitizPower said the coal plants were not operating anymore so they will focus on the diesel-fired power plant.