NGCP: Power insufficiency may result to rotating brownouts in Luzon

June 26, 2010 10:45 am 

MANILA, June 26 — The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) will implement rotating electricity cut off in the Luzon grid due to power insufficiency.

"System operator NGCP is expected to implement load drop of 126 megawatts (MW) and 200 MW in the system during peak hours or 10-11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. today( June 25) respectively due to generation deficiency," NGCP said in an advisory.

NGCP, the country's operator of transmission highway said it had advised distribution utility Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) on the load dropping so that Meralco could also make an appropriate action on its end regarding the power interruptions in its franchise area.

"Meralco is expected to schedule outages in its franchise areas," it added.

According to NGCP many power generation facilities have not been producing adequate power to sustain an uninterrupted service.

"Power plants on shutdown: Malaya 1 & 2; Quezon Power and Bauang Power," it said.

On the other hand, NGCP noted that plants with limited generation capacities are Sual 2 (585 MW instead of 647 MW); Kalayaan (180 MW) instead of 720 MW); Magat (141 MW instead of 272 MW).

NGCP said "outages will be averted should Magat be able to run at full capacity of 272 MW and Kalayaan with at least 360 MW."

Meralco spokesman Joe Zaldarriaga said as of press time, are yet to determine if the system could be sustained even with the limited generation capacities.

"We are still evaluating the situation. If the system could still hold it, we will not have the manual load dropping," he said.

But he said they are ready for a tentative schedule of rotating brownouts in its franchise area should NGCP decide to implement its load dropping scheme. These areas include portions of Batangas, Laguna, Cavite, Quezon, Pampanga and Metro Manila.

It was learned that NGCP did not implement the supposed load dropping scheduled for 10am yesterday due to actual low demand.

"Capacity at 11 am was 7,104 MW. Forecasted demand 7,030 MW. Actual demand only 6,800 MW. No load curtailement will be implemented at the 2 pm peak this afternoon because of reserve of 24 MW. Capacity during the afternoon peak is 7,104 MW, forecasted demand 7,080 MW," NGCP said.

During the summer months, NGCP implemented rotating brownouts because of insufficient power supply brought about by the El Nino dry spell.

NGCP, won the bid to operate and maintain the facilities of the state-owned National Transmission Corp. (TransCo) for 25 years.

At present, NGCP is headed by business tycoon Henry Sy Jr., who is also the vice chairman and CEO of SM Development Corp., and vice chairman of SM Investments Corp. The SM group's chain of malls, so far, is one of the largest consumers of power in the country.

One Taipan Holdings Corp., controlled by Sy Jr., bought out the group of Monte Oro Resources of businessman Enrique Razon at NGCP.

The NGCP consortium is composed of State Grid of China with 40 percent share as the foreign partner, Monte Oro Grid Resources Corp. with 30 percent equity and Calaca High Power Corp. with 30 percent shareholdings as the local partners.

On Jan. 15, 2009, state-run TransCo officially turned over the management and operation of its nationwide power transmission system to NGCP. One Taipan acquired 30 percent share of Monte Oro at NGCP at approximately US $ 350 million.

For the past months, the Philippines had experienced power deficiencies resulting to a number of rotating brownouts all over the country. (PNA) V3MSN/utb

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