Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Mindanao power outlook is good, says NGCP

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Aug. 3, 2011) – Mindanao’s power outlook is generally good with no foreseen crisis this year in electricity demands on the island’s key cities in the South.

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) said although the power reserve in Mindanao is below its minimum requirements of 100 megawatts or more, the region still enjoys continued electric service since early this year.

“There is no major problem right now and probably throughout the end of this year, except for unforeseen breakdowns in power plants just what happened recently in some electric facilities,” lawyer Cynthia Alabanza, a spokesperson for the NGCP, told the Mindanao Examiner.

Just early this week, NGCP said it was implementing a Mindanao grid-wide power load curtailment due to insufficient generation coming in from power plants.

As much as 150 megawatts had been withdrawn from the grid due to the forced outages suffered by several generating facilities, among them the Steag State Power Inc., in Misamis Oriental’s Villanueva town.

STEAG State Power Inc. is a special purpose company created to own, build and operate the Mindanao Power Plant. It is majority owned by Evonik Steag GmbH which is part of the German conglomerate Evonik Industries AG based in Essen, Germany.

NGCP said the power curtailment will be lifted once there is enough available capacity coming in to the grid from the power plants in Mindanao, whose daily electricity demands is at least 1,400 megawatts.

Last year, Mindanao suffered a power crisis and major cities had blackouts as long as 14 hours a day due to the effect of El Niño weather phenomenon.

NGCP said it completed its annual blackout simulation drills for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao power grids which involved tabletop exercises and actual black start restoration. And all these were done in compliance with the Philippine Grid Code.

It said part of the drills were the evacuation and other emergency procedures as under the System Operations contingency preparedness plan in the event of disasters such as earthquakes, flash floods and other acts of nature.

NGCP, a private corporation, is in charge of transmitting electricity from generators to distribution utilities and bulk power users its nationwide network of towers, lines and substations.

As the system operator of the power grid, it oversees the demand and supply of electricity to efficiently serve all of its customers, which include generators, private distribution utilities, electric cooperatives, government-owned utilities, economic zones, industries, and directly connected companies. (Mindanao Examiner)

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