Mindanao bracing for new brownouts

by Alena Mae S. Flores, February 17, 2015
from Manila Standard Today

Steag State Power Inc. will shut down its 210-megawatt Mindanao coal-fired power plant in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental starting tomorrow.

Steag said in a statement the planned preventive maintenance schedule on unit 1 of the Mindanao coal plant would begin on February 19 and end on March 2. The preventive maintenance on unit two will start on February 21 and end on March 16.

Energy Department director Mylene Capongcol said the shutdown of the Steag plant would initially affect 100 MW of the Mindanao grid and an overlap equivalent to 200 MW for 10 days.

Capongcol said the impact of the power plant’s closure would depend on the replacement power supply of the distribution utilities and the ability of their embedded gensets to run during the shutdown period.

Mindanao has power reserves of about three megawatts as of Tuesday, with system capacity of 1,351 MW against the demand of  1,348 MW.

Steag power plant manager Carsten Evers said the company was placing the units on planned outage to carry out the necessary unit inspection and appropriate maintenance activities.

“These maintenance activities are part of the company’s commitment to sustain quality customer service by way of ensuring that the power plant is able to optimize its long-term operations and produce the power needed to sustain Mindanao’s growth and development” Evers said.

He said the maintenance schedule had been carefully planned and closely coordinated with National Power Corp. and approved by grid operator National Grid Corporation of the Philippines.

“We have closely coordinated this schedule with our partners in the power industry in order to minimize any impact on the island’s volatile electric power supply condition” Evers said.

Ever said the company planned to complete the maintenance activities within schedule and bring the units back to the grid as soon as possible.

The power plant operates inside the Phividec Industrial Estate in Misamis Oriental.  It is composed of two identical power generating units, each with a net generating output of 105 MW.

The plant is principally owned by Steag GmbH of Germany, with Aboitiz Power Corp. and La Filipina Uygongco Corp. as shareholders.