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With 2 plants down, Mindanao again in the dark

Officials racing against time to restore power
By: - Reporter / @amyremoINQ
/ 01:58 AM September 05, 2012

Mindanao will have to endure power supply shortages over the next few days until state-run National Power Corp. is able to restore operations of the Agus 6 and Agus 7 hydroelectric power plants.

According to Cynthia Alabanza, spokesperson for the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), there is a shortage in actual supply of at least 200 megawatts.

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The target is to restore both Agus 6 and 7—which collectively contribute 166 MW to the Mindanao grid—by Friday, September 7, said Romero P. Pacilan, spokesman of Napocor’s Mindanao Generation Group.

On September 1, a fire broke out at Napocor’s Agus 6 complex in Iligan City, damaging the control cables of Agus 6 and 7, and causing the generating units of the two power plants to trip.

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In particular, those affected were Units 3, 4, and 5 of Agus 6 and Unit No. 2 of Agus 7.

Fire officials of Iligan City are still investigating the cause of the fire that destroyed the control cables.

The damage to the control cable system also forced the operators of the Agus 6 power plant to manually shut down Units 1 and 2 of the facility. With no control cables, Agus 6 and 7 were isolated from the Mindanao grid.

“Once we bring Units 3 and 4 back on-stream, we can immediately contribute about 80 MW to the grid,” Pacilan explained. “The restoration of the remaining generating units of Agus 6 and 7 to the grid will follow shortly thereafter.”

National Grid Corp. of the Philippines, meanwhile, said the fire had also caused the tripping of its 69-kiloVolt lines delivering power to Iligan Light and Power Co. Inc. (ILPI), Lanao del Norte Electric Cooperative (Laneco) and several directly connected industries.

Using power generated from other facilities such as power barges, NGCP was able to resume the delivery of power as of Tuesday morning.

Napocor is now working double time to bring the Agus 6 and 7 hydroelectric power plants back on line.

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Pacilan assured Mindanao power consumers that the damage to Agus 6 and 7 will not hamper Napocor’s ability to supply a total of 1,006 MW to the Mindanao grid even while repair works are being done on the two power plants.

Among other measures, Napocor and NGCP are currently working to put up an alternative control cable system that will re-establish the protection and metering systems of each of the generating units of Agus 6 and 7, which were damaged by fire, Pacilan said.

All preventive maintenance schedules of Mindanao-based power plants were likewise temporarily suspended until Agus 6 and 7 are back on-stream again, the official said.

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TAGS: electricity, Mindanao, outage, Philippines - Regions, power supply, power supply shortage
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