Aboitiz-Ayala JV Mariveles plant on forced outage

Published February 24, 2021, 2:56 PM

by Myrna M. Velasco

One generating unit of the 632-megawatt GNPower Mariveles Center Ltd. Co. (GMEC) coal-fired plant of the Aboitiz-Ayala joint venture suffered ‘forced outage’ due to technical glitch in its boiler.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Aboitiz Power Corporation indicated that unit 1 of the power facility had been placed on unscheduled shutdown due to “damage found in a portion of its boiler.”

Photo credit: https://www.gnpower.com.ph/projects/

The company said “the procurement of the necessary services for restoration works is underway,” and based on its initial assessment, the synchronization of the generating unit back to the grid may be stretched until third quarter to end of this year.

“Completion of said works and Unit 1’s return to service are targeted by third quarter 2021, but may take up to yearend 2021,” Aboitiz Power emphasized.

That particular affected generating unit has net sellable capacity to the power grid at a rate of 247 megawatts; and that accounts for roughly 7.0-percent of Aboitiz Power’s total attributable net sellable capacity which currently hovers at 3,494MW.

The Mariveles plant has two units at 316MW installed capacity each; and they constitute about 13-percent of Aboitiz Power’s market share in the power industry for aggregate capacity of 3,850MW.

The Aboitiz firm emphasized that “GMEC’s insurance brokers and adjusters have been informed, and the parties are currently undergoing the process of filing with the insurance claims.”

The power company added the plant’s forced outage incident has likewise been reported and coordinated correspondingly with government regulators as well as with relevant stakeholders in the power sector.

The forced outages and scheduled maintenance shutdowns of power plants are keenly being monitored by the Department of Energy (DOE) given projected rise in demand during the summer season, as well as probable hike in electricity consumption once Covid-19 vaccine rollout will already start in the country.

If too many power plants will be on simultaneous outages, the specter of rate spikes as well as unwarranted supply shortfalls may torment consumers again, especially during the summer months, and that is not seen as a tolerable development given that many are still wading through hurdles of work-from-home arrangements and the economy is similarly expected to spring back to growth.

The impact of interrupted electricity service in the government-underpinned inoculation program is also not seen as an encouraging precept, hence, all players in the power sector are being urged to ensure that their power facilities are in reliable and viable operating conditions.