Meralco seeks ERC okay to install power transformer at North Port station in Tondo

by Lenie LecturaApril 17, 2016

from Business Mirror

THE Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) is seeking approval for the emergency installation of a power transformer at North Port substation in Tondo, Manila, from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

In a filing, the utility firm stressed the need to immediately replace a defective transformer at the North Port substation to avoid power interruptions in affected areas. Affected customers, it added, will not be burdened with higher losses resulting from emergency load shifting.

“It is respectfully prayed that the emergency installation of one 83 megavolt ampere, 115-kilovolt -34.5, three-phase power transformer with OLTC [on-load top changer] at the North Port substation be approved,” said Meralco in its seven-page application filed this month.

The total cost of the emergency replacement is P54,762,388.98. The substation tripped in December  2015. Meralco had to transfer load to adjacent power transformers, but this move was deemed critical because it could adversely affect the quality of service to various customers, including University of Santo Tomas, Chinese General Hospital, Department of Public Works and Highways, Asian Terminals Inc., Asia Brewery Inc., Philippine Ports Authority, Philippine National Railways and the city government of Manila.

“Considering the critical effect of shifting the load, a stop-gap measure had to be undertaken. Meralco had to use an available 83 mega-volt ampere power transformer and temporarily install the same,” it said.

The new transformer was energized last January.

“The new transformer had to be temporarily installed in order to normalize the level of quality of electric service of the affected customers in the City of Manila,” added Meralco. “The new 83 MVA power transformer that was earlier temporarily installed was considered a permanent replacement.”

Without the new transformer, Meralco would register a  system loss of 8,479,172 kilowatt hours.

Meralco’s application, it said, is being filed pursuant to the ERC’s resolution, amending the rules for approval of regulated entities’ capital expenditure (capex) projects, including emergency capex.

Emergency capex projects are those that require immediate implementation during an event that is not a force majeure  or fortuitous event in order to maintain safe, reliable, secure and efficient operation of the power system.