This unique skills competition is helping light up the nation
It is easy to take electricity for granted. We flick a switch or push a button and expect the lights to go on and our appliances to start working. Whenever power gets interrupted, we detest the inconvenience of having no electricity and being unable to use and charge our gadgets.
Electricity flows into homes, factories, and offices on account of power generating facilities which work 24/7 to make our lives convenient and sustain economic activity.
One such facility is the 735 megawatt (MW) Pagbilao Power Station (PPS) in Quezon Province operated by TeaM Energy Corporation, consisting of two generating units. Within the same grounds is a third generating unit (420 MW), which TeaM Energy has a 50% stake in. With a combined generating capacity of 1,155 MW, PPS is vital in ensuring an adequate supply of energy in the Luzon electricity grid. TeaM Energy is a partnership between noted Japanese firms Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and Marubeni Corporation.
It is important that all of the plant’s generating units are up and running, with possible downtime reduced to the barest minimum, to help ensure a steady and reliable flow of electricity in Luzon.
With this in mind, TeaM Energy recently held the Skills Improvement in Control Analysis Tournament (SICAT) at the plant grounds. This event is a friendly competition among members of the various teams of the plant’s operations group that is meant to test their preparedness to deal with technical issues and emergency situations in the control room that may threaten the power plant’s continuous operations.
“We are the only company in the Philippines conducting this unique kind of skills competition, which is reflective of the importance we give to providing reliable energy,” said John Alcordo, TeaM Energy Chairman and CEO.
Four teams consisting of six members each were separately placed inside a simulation room that mimics the actual power plant control room. Once inside, they were given 50 minutes to resolve and address different plant emergency situations.
Other than looking at the time elapsed in the operation of the controls, teams are also scored on quality, safety, and teamwork in decisions and actions made. The team that solves the problems in the most efficient and competent manner would be declared the winner.
“Ultimately, this aims to sharpen the skills of our plant engineers so they would know exactly how to react and work together in preventing a situation that may lead to plant downtime,” said Val Alcazar, Technical and Compliance Training Manager of TeaM Energy.
“As it is TeaM Energy’s commitment to continuously generate electricity to power the nation’s growth, we must take the needed measures to reduce plant outages. The holding of SICAT is one of those steps,” he added.
At the end of the whole day event, team Delta received top honors for their excellent work in resolving different emergency situations inside the plant.
The competition was judged by the department heads of Pagbilao Power Station, and guest judges from TEPCO who flew all the way from Tokyo to take part in the event.
Tournaments and competitions usually have participants match skills against each other with the objective of attaining individual or team glory. TeaM Energy’s SICAT tournament, on the other hand, was designed to enhance the skill and technical acumen of participants in a bid to ensure that it honors its commitment to lighting up the nation.