Mindanao hydropower plants producing below capacity on lack of rain
Output at the Agus-Pulangi hydropower complex remains low on lack of rain, keeping the Mindanao supply situation in a shortage despite having the Steag State Power Inc.’s coal-fired facility back online, a Department of Energy official said Monday.
Steag State, operator of the 210 megawatt facility in Misamis Oriental, on Monday told the Energy Department that operations of 105-MW Unit 1 was synchronized with the Mindanao grid on Sunday.
The unit went on maintenance shutdown last Oct. 6 and on Sunday was powered back on or 10 hours ahead of schedule.
"Steag Unit 1 synchronized to the grid…” said Energy Undersecretary Josefina Asirit." Second unit on track… and will be online Nov. 10.
We are monitoring if may be online earlier," she added, noting Unit 2 was powered off on Oct. 29 for maintenance work.
Stead is owned by Steag GmbH, one of the largest power utilities in Germany, and claims to be a market leader in clean coal technology and biomass power production.
The Agus hydropower plant is now running at 55 MW, Agus 2 at 100 MW and Agus 4 at 135 MW, Agus 5 at 27 MW, Agus 6 at 120 MW, and Agus 7 at 26 MW – all at below normal capacity, according to the Energy official.
The Pulangi hydropower plant is also operating only at 120 MW.
Agus complex consists of six hydropower plants with a combined capacity of more than 700 MW. Agus 1 in Marawi City has an output capacity of 80MW, Agus 2 in Lanao del Sur has 180MW, Agus 4 in Lanao del Norte has 158.1 MW, Agus 5 has 55 MW, Agus 6 has 200 MW, and Agus 7 has 26 MW.
Pulangi in Bukidnon has 255 MW.
While the hydropower facilities are producing way below capacity, Asirit said electric cooperatives are now buying electricity from the power barges of the Aboitiz Group subsidiary Therma Marine Inc. to meet consumer demand.
National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, which operates the country’s major power transmission network, expects the Mindanao grid to suffer a 164 MW shortage by Monday afternoon and expand to 288 MW as demand rises. — VS, GMA News