Meralco asks ERC to approve transformer-replacement project

by Lenie LecturaSeptember 3, 2016

from Business Mirror

THE Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) is seeking regulatory approval for a plan to replace a power transformer at its Balintawak substation, which would cost a total of  P56.84 million.

In its eight-page application, the utility firm asked the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to approve its emergency capital-expenditure project for the replacement of the defective Balintawak Transformer Bank 6.

The said transformer tripped on June 20. Based on tests conducted, the power transformer was “no longer safe to be energized and was declared for replacement.”

Meralco said the loads of Balintawak Transformer Bank 6 had to be temporarily transferred to adjacent power transformers. With such set-up, Meralco warned of critical loading of said power transformers that could result to prolonged and massive interruption in affected areas.

“In particular, the same will adversely affect the supply of electricity to customers in said areas, which include Universal Steel Smelting Corp., TriNoma North Triangle Depot Commercial Corp., Light Rail Rectifier Substations, Maynilad and Manila Central University Hospital,” Meralco said.

As such, Meralco was constrained to use an available transformer to temporarily replace the defective transformer, pending the acquisition of a new transformer.

“The new power transformer will be subsequently installed, given the limitations of the currently installed transformer. This will ensure the reliability and quality of electric service to customers in the affected areas,” Meralco said.

Meanwhile, Panay Energy Development Corp. (PEDC), a subsidiary of Global Business Power Corp. (GBPC), recently synchronized its 150-megawatt power-expansion project to the Visayas grid.

PEDC, one of the largest power producers in the Visayas, and the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) completed the synchronization of PEDC3 last Friday. The said power facility is connected to the NGCP substation in Santa Barbara, Iloilo City.

“We would like to thank NGCP, PEMC and all parties responsible for the successful synchronization of PEDC3 to the Visayas grid,” GBPC President Rolando Bacani said. “This marks another step toward the fulfillment of our continuing commitment to provide clean and efficient power to the region and contribute to its continued development.”

PEDC is eyeing commercial operation of the power facility within the third quarter of this year.

PEDC3 will supply power to the Meralco; Iloilo Electric Cooperatives I, II and III; and the Antique Electric Cooperative and Guimaras Electric Cooperative of the Panay-Guimaras Power Supply Consortium.

PEDC’s third plant is a boon to a region that needs more reliable power supply.  In a recent forum, Department of Energy  science research specialist Noriel Christopher Reyes said the  Visayas needs more base-load capacity, or a stable supply of power 24/7.