NGCP: No brownouts in Mindanao this summer

Posted By: Chris On:

CAGAYAN DE ORO City, April 25, 2011—The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) is expecting no power interruption in Mindanao this summer.

“Based on our projections, we are not expecting any more brownouts in Mindanao this summer,” NGCP Spokesperson Cynthia D. Perez-Alabanza said.

Alabanza said that NGCP is also expanding its power transmission highway and that if there are power interruptions this summer, the problem is not with NGCP but with the power generation plants especially if water levels in the hydroelectric power plant fall.

She explained that their “no brownout projections” in Mindanao this summer are based on historical data, water level in the hydroelectric power plants and the maintenance schedule of these power plants.

The National Power Corporation (NPC or NAPOCOR) completed its maintenance work on the Pulangi 4 hydroelectric power plant in Bukidnon at the weekend.

NAPOCOR scheduled its maintenance work on Pulangi 4 during the Holy Week to minimize impact on the overall power situation in Mindanao, said plant manager Rudy Brioso.

Brioso said NAPOCOR drained or “dewatered” a 9.5-kilometer-long power channel of Pulangi 4 so that it can inspect the structure for cracks or scours.

The 255-megawatt Pulangi hydroelectric power complex in Bukidnon and the 700-megawatt Agus hydroelectric power complex in Lanao del Sur supply about 53 percent of Mindanao’s total power needs.

Mindanao has an installed 998-MW hydroelectric power capacity.

The rest of the island’s power needs are being supplied by a 210-MW coal-fired power plant, a 98-MW geothermal energy plant and a 485-MW oil-based energy plant.

Mindanao’s general power demand is estimated by NGCP to be about 1,085 MW.

During the Holy Week, the NGCP said the peak demand for power in the island was 881 MW and a capacity of 1,064 MW.

This is because most industries and businesses were closed.

Because of this, the NAPOCOR saw fit to schedule its preventive maintenance on Pulangi 4 during the Holy Week.

Brioso said that the Pulangi 4 power channel has not been inspected for 25 years since its commissioning.

Last year, Mindanao experienced rotating brownouts that lasted for up to 10 hours each throughout summer due to very low water levels in the power dams of the Pulangi and Agus hydroelectric power plant complexes brought about by El Niño.

To mitigate the situation, NGCP resorted to the use of the Aboitiz Power Corporation’s Power Barges 117 and 118. (Bong D. Fabe)

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