Restoring Mindanao coal plant may take 8-12 wks

Posted at 03/05/14 11:00 PM

MANILA – Restoring the 210-megawatt Mindanao coal plant in Misamis Oriental may take about 8 to 12 weeks, its owner STEAG State Power Inc. said on Wednesday.

"The indicative duration for the restoration of the units is estimated from eight (8) to twelve (12) weeks based on the initial findings of the on-going technical evaluation," the company said in a statement.

Steag plant manager Dr. Carsten Evers said the company has intensified its restoration efforts despite the volatile power supply condition in Mindanao.

The two units of the plant went offline due to damages sustained during the Mindanao-wide grid systems disturbance on February 27.

The shutdown of the plant has resulted to two- to three-hour brownouts in the region.

Evers said Steag is coordinating with the Department of Energy (DOE), the National Power Corporation, and the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines in addressing the concern.

"Our priority now is to restore the units back on line and ease up the critical power supply condition of Mindanao," Evers said.

"SPI employees are working round-the-clock to restore the power plant back to the grid," he added.

The Steag coal power plant is Mindanao's biggest in terms of unit capacity, accounting for almost a fifth of the region's total electricity supply.

The DOE, meanwhile, warns that rotational power interruptions will continue in Mindanao until 2015.

Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla said they are expecting two power plants to come on stream next year--a 350-MW facility from the Aboitiz group and a 200-MW plant from the Alcantara group--which should help address the supply shortage in the southern Philippines.