Napocor to pursue rehab of Mindanao hydropower dams to prevent shutdown | Inquirer Business

Napocor to pursue rehab of Mindanao hydropower dams to prevent shutdown

By: - Reporter / @amyremoINQ
/ 05:16 PM March 25, 2012

MANILA, Philippines—The state-run National Power Corp. is pursuing the rehabilitation of one of the power facilities at the highly crucial 700-megawatt Agus hydropower complex in Mindanao to prevent an imminent shutdown of that unit, which could only further aggravate the power supply crunch on the island.

Documents from Napocor showed that the P2.6-billion uprating project for Units 1 and 2 of Agus 6 would not only increase their generating capacities to 69 MW from the current 20 MW, but also extend the economic life of the units by at least another 30 years.

Agus 6, located at Barangay (village) Maria Cristina, Iligan City, started operating in 1953.


“Units 1 and 2 are presently requiring higher maintenance costs and are operating inefficiently. There is an imminent danger that these units will eventually cease operation at any time now,” Napocor warned.


Napocor is targeting to start the uprating project by June this year, which may be completed within 30 months, or by December 2014.

The uprating project is considered crucial since Mindanao relies heavily on hydropower complexes for over 50 percent of its electricity requirements.

“The project is part of the Mindanao contingency measures to secure sufficient supply of power in the grid,” the state firm added.

Although the project will not immediately help ease the power supply shortages in Mindanao, it will ensure a more stable supply once the project has been completed. The Mindanao grid has often been put on red alert since the beginning of the year for lack of capacity to meet the island’s power demand.

Meanwhile, Napocor explained that the project will consist of replacing the main equipment such as the turbine runners, main generators and power transformers. The power station will be uprated to 69 MW using the same plant configuration.

The expected activities will include mobilization, construction of temporary facilities and storage; the design, supply, installation, test and commissioning of several major equipment such as hydralic turbine, turbine governor, power generator, transformers, cooling water and compressed air systems, plant protection and control system; and restoration/repair of structures that will be affected by the upratingrs.


Since the Agus hydropower complex is still owned by the government, the funds for the planned rehabilitation will have to come from another state agency, the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp., which was tasked to handle the privatization and maintenance of Napocor’s power generation assets and contracted capacities, and to clean up the power firm’s debts.

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TAGS: brownouts, Business, Department of Energy, electricity production and distribution, Mindanao, National Power Corp., power shortage

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