AboitizPower unit fined for prolonged downtime
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) fined a unit of Aboitiz Power Corp., the listed power business of the Aboitiz Group, for P8.38 million for breaching in 2021 the maximum number of days a power facility can go offline.
The regulator penalized Hedcor Bukidnon Inc. (HBI) for incurring 102.1 days of unplanned outage. Units 3 and 4 of the Manolo Fortich 1 Hydroelectric Power Plant were offline from Jan. 3, 2021 to April 25, 2021.
As per Article 5 of ERC Resolution No. 10, Series of 2020, hydroelectric power plants can go on an unplanned outage for up to 6.8 days per year.
“The case arose after torrential rains resulted in landslides that caused extensive damage to the run-of-river hydro units of HBI in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon,” said AboitizPower, which will appeal the ERC ruling.
According to the company, persistent rains in 2020 caused soil saturation, erosion and mudslides, resulting in pipe dislocations, pipe bursts and damage to the high head penstock line.
These forced HBI to switch off the affected facilities to prepare for the necessary repairs.
Cause of delay
The ERC said HBI failed to provide enough evidence to justify the length of time it took to restore the said power plant and for lack of any clear plan or detailed actual progress of restoration efforts up until the hydro facility came back online.
“Hedcor merely attributed the delay in the restoration works to accessibility issues, weather conditions within the affected area, and the ground movements delaying the pipe laying efforts. Hedcor conveniently offered these as causes of delay without even offering supporting documents to prove the same,” the ERC said in a Feb. 23 order, but which was published only recently.
HBI is a wholly owned subsidiary of Aboitiz Renewables Inc., the holding company of AboitizPower for renewable energy projects.
It operates and maintains the Manolo Fortich 1 and 2 plants, which have a combined capacity of 68.8 megawatts.
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