Outages hurt businesses

Published by rudy Date posted on May 4, 2014

DAVAO CITY — Businesses in this city are losing an estimated P46 million daily from the six-hour rotational brownout currently applied by Davao Light and Power Co.

Ivan C. Cortez, Davao City Investment Promotion Center head, said the figure is based on the city’s normal economic output with the biggest damage estimated at P27 million incurred between 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., the peak hours in electricity usage.

Mr. Cortez said the assumption is that some of the businesses are operating since they have power generator sets even when their areas are affected by the rotational brownouts.

This developed as Steag State Power Inc. postponed the resumption of operation of one of its two plants to the second week of May from the original projection of first week of the month.


A week ago, the city’s power distributor, Davao Light and Power Co., announced it was implementing a six-hour daily rotational brownout — four hours during peak hours and the remainder during off-peak.

The utility made the announcement after the main provider of power on the Mindanao grid, the government-run National Power Corp., reduced its supply to the city to 120 megawatts (MW) from 280 MW contracted capacity.

What compounded the problem, officials of the power utility said, was that one of the two power barges of Therma Marine Inc., had to be placed on emergency shutdown because it has been operating for 24 hours daily since the start of the problem on Feb. 27.

Even the hydroelectric plants of Hedcor Inc. could not operate to maximize their supply due to the reduction in water flowing on the river where these plants operate.

Hedcor said the hydroelectric plants could only supply about 40 MW out of their maximum 50-MW output.

Arturo M. Milan, executive vice-president of Davao Light, said one of the options that the company has implemented is asking big establishments in the city to run their generators and become a participant of the interruptible load program. Under the interruptible program, those running their generating sets are refunded for their fuel expenses.

The program was able to produce about 30 MW so far, Mr. Milan said.

In a press statement released over the weekend, Dr. Carsten Evers, Steag State Power Inc. plant manager, said the “company needs more time to ensure that the unit is in excellent condition prior to commissioning and synchronization to the Mindanao grid.”

He said the second plant would be operating on or before June 1.

The two coal-fired plants of the company, which have a combined capacity of 210 MW, went offline on Feb. 27. — Carmelito Q. Francisco, Businessworld

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