Lesser power outages in Davao City eyed

Subscribe Now May 12, 2014 at 08:13am

The city's power distributor, Davao Light and Power Co., has vowed to reduce the power outages to the minimum as power supplied to the city improved a bit these past days.

The company did not implement power curtailment on its franchise area over the weekend following higher supply from the state-run National Power Corp.

Arturo M. Milan, executive vice-president of Davao Light, told BusinessWorld yesterday that the city had a relatively stable power situation last weekend since Napocor provided the company 170 megawatts (MW) out of its contracted capacity of 280 MW.

“Hopefully it would continue to be this way so that we will be relieved of the brownouts,” Mr. Milan said as he pointed out that the power requirement of the city yesterday went to as low as 240 MW from the average of over 300 MW.

To plug the power deficit, the company is running its 40-MW bunker-fueled standby plant.

It is also getting supply from sister companies Hedcor, Inc., operator of small hydroelectric plants in Davao del Sur and the city, and Therma Marine, Inc., operator of the two power barges moored in Maco, Compostela Valley and Nasipit, Agusan del Norte.

Based on the Web site of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines yesterday, the Mindanao power grid had a deficit of 194 MW from a system peak of 1,132 MW.

Davao Light officials earlier noted the company could provide enough electricity from backup sources unless the grid’s total deficit goes over 300 MW.

Last Wednesday, the local utility announced it might resort to almost eight hours of brownouts due to a worsening situation.

But this was followed by another announcement last Friday that outages would be less than five hours daily as supply in Mindanao power grid improved.

In the middle of last week, Steag State Power, Inc. resumed the operation of one of its two coal-fired plants as both broke down during the Feb. 27 Mindanao power blackout.

The other plant will resume operation next month. Each of the Steag plants has a capacity of 105 MW.

Rossano C. Luga, in a telephone conversation Sunday, said the company will try to eliminate power outages during the night. “We will try to find ways to supply power especially when people are asleep because this is the bulk of the complaints (last week),” he said.

Based on industry estimates, the city and the rest of Mindanao will only have ample power supply next year when two new projects, the 300-MW coal-fired power project of Therma South, Inc. and the 200-MW coal-fired power project of Sarangani Energy Corp., go online.

Therma South and Davao Light, both subsidiaries of Aboitiz Power Corp., have signed a supply agreement that will provide the latter with 100 MW for its franchise area that include, aside from the city, some areas of Davao del Norte.

Meanwhile, the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry has asked power industry players to enlighten its members about the real power situation in Mindanao.

Antonio T. dela Cruz, chamber president, said the power outages have affected some businesses.

However, Mr. dela Cruz said there were also some businesses, like shopping malls and hotels, that made money out of the outages because people trooped to these places during the regular brownouts in the city.

Source: bworldonline.com

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