Bukidnon’s Pulangi power plant back on streamBy Amy R. Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines–The national Power Corp. (Napocor) has finally completed the rehabilitation of the Pulangi IV hydroelectric power plant in Bukidnon, a move seen to finally ease the rotating power blackouts that have been plaguing Mindanao since the beginning of the year.
This means that the Pulangi IV can now generate as much as 250 megawatts during the evening peak hours, the state-run power generator said in a statement.
Before the repair work was done, the hydropower facility was generating only 90 MW during the off-peak period and a maximum of 140 MW during peak hours, out of its original installed capacity of 255 MW.
Napocor said the P7.11-million rehabilitation was completed last May 8, or nine days ahead of the original target date of May 17, thus boosting prospects that the tight power supply situation in Mindanao will finally normalize soon.
As of Wednesday, the Mindanao grid posted a power supply deficit of 197 MW, slightly lower than the levels of previous weeks, when the shortage was more than 200 MW.
This was the first time that the Pulangi hydropower plant underwent major repair works since it started operating in 1986.
Napocor president Froilan A. Tampinco said the repair of the 26-year-old power plant was completed earlier than scheduled because of the concerted efforts of the state generator’s operations personnel and Mamasar Construction, the contractor for the rehab project.
“Our plant personnel at Pulangi IV worked 24/7 with our private contractor to bring the power plant back on line at the earliest time possible, and for this we commend them,” Tampinco said.
Official data from Napocor’s Mindanao generation group showed that Unit 1 of Pulangi IV was energized at 3:02 p.m. on Tuesday, while Unit 2 went on line by 5:15 p.m. the same day. The third and final unit was synchronized with the Mindanao grid at 6:38 p.m., also last Tuesday.
Napocor had shut down Pulangi IV last April 17 to pave the way for the repair of the plant’s headrace channel and surge pool, as well as for the preventive maintenance servicing (PMS) of the facility’s three turbine generator units. It was estimated that the rehab work would take 30 days.
During the rehabilitation, Napocor was able to restore the stability of the headrace channel and the surge pool riprap protection. The 9.5-kilometer-long headrace channel is that part of the power plant where the water that is used to run Pulangi IV passes through before going to the turbine generator units.
The rehabilitation project has been in Napocor’s work program as early as last year, when major defects such as massive scouring were first noticed on the headrace channel. The repair works could not be postponed any longer as these were bound to get more expensive the longer that they are delayed, Napocor officials said.
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