Commissioning of Unit 2 of Aboitiz coal plant moved back by 10 months

by Lenie Lectura, 15 April 2015
from BusinessMirror

Therma South Inc. (TSI), a subsidiary of Aboitiz Power, said on Tuesday it would have to delay the commissioning of Unit 2 of its 300-megawatt (MW) coal power plant in southern Davao City by 10 months because the facility was damaged during the Mindanao-wide blackout that occurred on April 5.

“Initial findings show that the disruption unfortunately caused damage to the auxiliary components to the boiler of Unit 2. Affected areas and components include the air-preheater, as well as the electrostatic precipitator, which is part of the power plant’s pollution control system,” TSI said.

The property damage will delay the commercial operations of Unit 2 by approximately 10 months or until February 2016. Unit 1 and Unit 2 of the power plant have yet to be turned over to TSI by its contractors.

TSI President Benjie Cariaso Jr. assured the public that the status of Unit 2 will not affect the commissioning of Unit 1, which remains on schedule and should reach commercial operation by the end of June 2015.

TSI is also working with its contractors and suppliers to make the necessary repairs to resume the commissioning of Unit 2. The repairs will be made as expeditiously as possible to shorten the time before both units operate commercially, providing power to Mindanao.

A more detailed assessment of the extent of the repairs needed is being conducted. TSI also intends to conduct a full review to determine all contributing factors that led to the plant incident to ensure appropriate measures are taken. “We will update all stakeholders of further developments. We remain committed to doing everything we can to support Mindanao with its power needs,” Cariaso added.

TSI was scheduled to synchronize Unit 2 with the Mindanao grid last week. Full commercial operations was supposed to happen a month after.

More than 20 distribution utilities and electric cooperatives have signed up to receive capacity from TSI. The company had earlier announced the expansion of the power plant to 645 MW.

Early this month, Mindanao suffered a seven-hour power outage. Officials reported that there was a grid disturbance that was caused by a detached conductor that hit the capacitor voltage transformer (CVT). The conductor connects the CVT, a metering equipment, to the Agus switchyard, which, in turn, is connected to the Agus-Pulangi hydroelectric power complex in Lanao del Sur.

The energy department has ruled out sabotage in the Mindanao grid-wide blackout. “There was no indication of sabotage. There was no indication when it was going to fail. This equipment was already 40 years old but its lifespan is 50. This was already replaced by the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines,” said Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho L. Petilla.

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