DOE seeks resched of power plant maintenance to stave off red alerts


Posted at Jun 18 2021 10:16 AM | Updated as of Jun 18 2021 02:20 PM

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MANILA - The Department of Energy is asking power generation companies to reschedule their preventive maintenance programs to prevent a possible red alert level beginning next week until mid August.

Director Mario Marasigan of the DOE’s Electric Power Industry Management Bureau said that based on the scheduling submitted to them by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, Block A of the Ilijan, Batangas power plant is set for preventive maintenance next week. 

The Block A plant has a capacity of 600 megawatts. 

“Halos makakasabay niya po ang overlap ng maintenance din ng Pagbilao Unit 2 na mangyayari naman po sometime sa middle of July. Tinatarget nila July 1," Marasigan said in an interview on ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo. 

(It may coincide with the maintenance of Pagbilao Unit 2 scheduled in the middle of July. They are targeting July 1.)

Sula Unit 1, which has 647 megawatts capacity, is also set to undergo maintenance towards the end July, he said.

“Pag magkasabay-sabay po yung tatlo, may kalakihan po ng mawawala sa grid natin na supply. Ito po ay lampas 1,500 megawatts,” he said.

(We will lose around 1,500 megawatts on the grid if the three plants will conduct maintenance at the same time.)
In an interview on TeleRadyo, Marasigan said that a red alert level does not necessarily mean a brownout. But it could happen for an hour or 5 hours at the most and not continuously.

“Kalimitan nangyayari yan, lalo na po dito sa National Capital Region, during peak hours, mga bandang alas-2 hanggang alas-3, pagdating naman sa gabi, buhat alas 6 hanggang alas-8 ng gabi,” he said.

(Usually, this may occur during peak hours, particularly in the National Capital Region.)

The DOE, he said, will coordinate with these plants to ask them to reschedule their maintenance.

The NGCP for its part said they have no information yet on the specific dates of possible rotational brownouts.

NGCP spokesperson, Atty. Cynthia Alabanza, said in the same interview that they do not have any control over the supply.

“Ang NGCP po daanan lang kami ng kuryente kami yung parang expressway ng kuryente so wala kaming control sa mga generation plants,” she said.

(The NGCP is like the expressway of electricity so we don’t have control over generations plants.)

The contingency measure that they could do is set a meeting with generation companies and to appeal to them to not conduct preventive maintenance simultaneously. She said the outcome of the meeting is forwarded to the energy department for them to decide on the schedule.
Alabanza said that if there is enough or excess power on the grid, the supply will not be affected even with unscheduled maintenance of the plants.