Alsons Power qualifies plant shutdown schedule

by Myrna Velasco, 10 May 2015
from Manila Bulletin

A subsidiary of the Alsons Power Group has qualified that the shutdown schedule set for its 100-megawatt diesel plant in Iligan City cannot be blamed for any feared brownouts in some parts of the Mindanao grid because service restoration was also done immediately for most of its generating units.

In a statement sent to the Manila Bulletin, the facility’s operating vehicle Mapalad Power Corporation (MPC) has noted that “the programmed shutdown of the plant’s generators was for corrective maintenance last May 4.”

The company has set on record though that on the same day, “all but one of the engines were restored,” hence, it is impossible that it could trigger rotating brownouts beyond that period.

“At this time, we have only one engine unit undergoing scheduled maintenance overhaul,” the Alsons Power Group has reiterated.

It added that “impending rotating brownouts in Bayugan City and the rest of Agusan del Sur cannot be attributed to any shutdown by Mapalad Power.”

To be clear, scheduled shutdowns in generating units of power plants are generally well coordinated with the other stakeholders in the industry as well as with government to cushion any impact it may have on grid supply or service.

Maintenance schedules or downtimes are required to be submitted to the Department of Energy (DOE) as well as to the system operator National Grid Cooperation of the Philippines (NGCP) to allow the entire electricity system prepare for any eventuality.

The Alcantara power firm similarly stated “our plant continues to operate at its normal capacity and we continue to provide a steady supply of power to all our customers in Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Sarangani, Iligan, General Santos, Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur.”

The power plant was an acquisition of the company from the government-underpinned sale of power assets.

The divestment of the Iligan plant was unique though because of the facility’s issues of outstanding liabilities then with its host local government unit.

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