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PIA Press Release
Tuesday, January 10, 2012


NGCP announces power curtailment in Mindanao

by Mai Gevera-Macapagat

DAVAO CITY , Jan 10 (PIA) – The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) announces the necessary curtailment of power supply that could result to scheduled brownouts in the entire Mindanao following the thin reserves and dispatchable power supply.

NGCP spokesperson Cynthia P. Alabanza told the Davao media that power in Mindanao is very tenuous as reserve which is needed to maintain stability of power becomes very thin.

“Ideally, we need to have a 24 percent reserve of the actual load. Also lately, we do not have dispatchable supply which led to the issuance of red alert status,” she said.

At present Mindanao has a 150 megawatt deficiency in its peak period from 10 am to 5:30 pm and a 200 megawatt deficiency from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm.

Alabanza explained some factors that cause power interruptions. One is when power supply cannot meet the demand, another factor is the scheduled maintenance of power plants which is usually set on days with low peak in demand.

With the scheduled maintenance of plants, NGCP recommends a schedule while the National Power Commission (Napocor) issues an official matrix that should be the basis for the curtailment schedule.

The NGCP spokesperson cannot tell as to how long will Mindanao suffer brownout schedules brought about by the curtailment process.

She explained that if NGCP is only to balance power supply based on scheduled maintenance of plants, then Mindanao wouldn’t need curtailment. But given that unscheduled maintenance of plants are so possible that might cause interruption and with the thin power reserves, thus, NGCP couldn’t tell as to how long these scheduled brownouts will last.

The grid company hopes that the additional 100 megawatt that may be provided for by the Iligan Diesel Power Plant could be of help and mitigate the power shortage.

NGCP continues to aim for a good mix of power sources as it also hopes to have the needed power plants.

“But we realized that it is not easy to over build. Building plants which may turn out not needed in the long run may be unfair to the consumers as they will be paying the cost. Rather, we will optimize the system,” she added.

By that, NGCP balances the need to build power plants and the need to interconnect the power link between Mindanao and Visayas. This way, potential investors may be interested to invest in Mindanao power given that they are offered an alternative to sell power supply elsewhere if Mindanao has enough of it. (PIA/Mai Gevera-Macapagat)

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