DAVAO CITY – The rise from 34 degrees Celsius to 35 degrees Celsius temperature and the maintenance shutdown of a unit of the coal-fired power plant here are affecting the city’s power supply.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) previously warned the public that El Niño phenomenon is affecting the city.

The Davao Light and Power Corporation announced Saturday that the tight power supply is due to “the shutdown and reduced capacity of major hydro power plants caused by the extended El Niño phenomenon.”

Engr. Gerry Pedrico, chief meteorological officer of Pagasa said the El Niño will last until June this year.

Last week, Davao Light has advised the public that its current power supply allocation from the National Power Corporation-Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management through the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines was further reduced due to low water inflow caused by bombings of transmission towers in Mindanao isolating two other NPC-PSALM power plants.

“This has resulted to a 30 minute to 1 hour rotating power interruptions within the Davao Light franchise,” said Davao Light.

Davao Light said the situation will worsen as the Therma South, Inc.’s coal-fired power plant’s 150 MW Unit 2 will undergo a corrective maintenance shutdown for seven days starting Saturday.

Davao Light has a 100 MW contract with the TSI, of which 50 MW comes from the would-be affected unit.

“With this, Davao Light’s total power supply will only be at 233 MW. This would be insufficient to supply the forecasted demand in its franchise of 320 MW and 290 MW, on Saturday and Sunday, respectively,” it said.

It said the demand on Monday may reach “as high as 340 megawatts.”

“This will result to an estimate of 3 hours rotating power interruptions during the peak hours, which is from 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM, and to an estimate of 1 hour during off-peak hours, which is from 9:00 PM to 8:00 AM,” Davao Light said.

The power interruptions will affect 270,885 customers of Davao Light.

A megawatt supplies energy to an estimate of 4,167 customers, it said.

On January 8, President Benigno Aquino III led the inauguration of the 300-MW coal-fired power plant in Barangay Binugao here.

The power plant currently supplies power to more than 20 electric cooperatives and distribution utilities in Mindanao.

Davao Light has supply contracts of 30 MW from Therma Marine Inc, 50 MW from the Unit 1 of the TSI coal-fired power plant, 39 MW from Hedcor Sibulan, 3 MW from Hedcor Talomo and 15 MW from the Western Mindanao Power Corporation.

“Bajada Power Plant will continue to run and the Interruptible Load Program will still be activated to help mitigate the impact of the very tight power supply situation,” said the power utility. (davaotoday.com)

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