First Gen’s 97MW Avion plant back in operation

Published October 20, 2021, 5:18 PM

by Myrna M. Velasco

The Unit 2 of the 97-megawatt Avion power generating facility of Prime Meridian Powergen Corporation (PMPC) is now back on commercial operation, its parent firm First Gen Corporation has announced.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), the Lopez firm indicated that the plant was synchronized back to the grid last Monday (October 18), after the facility suffered forced outage since August.

“The recommissioning and testing activities of Unit 2 of the 97MW Avion power plant have been completed. The unit is now commercially available on liquid fuel operation,” the power firm said.

It specified though that another round of re-commissioning and testing processes will be carried out on gas operation – and that shall be upon the conclusion of the ongoing preventive maintenance shutdown of the Malampaya field.

The gas production facility will be on maintenance downtime until Friday (October 22); and after that, the gas-fired power plants are anticipated to switch fuel use back to indigenous gas supplied by Malampaya.

First Gen previously declared that the compressor of unit 2 of its Avion plant had been damaged, hence, it needed the roughly two-month timeframe for the repair works to be completed.

The damaged equipment, according to the company, is a component of the LM6000 PC dual fuel aero-derivative gas turbine or generator that was supplied by American industrial giant GE.

First Gen qualified then that “the damage to Avion Unit-2, which has a capacity of approximately 48.5 megawatts, was found during an ongoing routine inspection.”

It was at that point then that the Lopez-led company had advised GE that “Avion Unit 2 cannot be operated and will require further offsite assessment at a GE service depot abroad to determine the extent of the damage and effect repairs necessary to place the gas turbine back into service.”

The Avion facility is one of the gas-fired power plants of First Gen supplying generated electricity to Luzon grid – and their aggregate installed capacity stands at 2,011MW — including those for the 1,000MW Santa Rita, 500MW San Lorenzo and 414MW San Gabriel plants.

Avion’s generated electricity is seen most beneficial as supplement to required peaking capacity in the power system – especially if demand would run tight due to factors such as the simultaneous outages of the other plants; or there would be capacity de-rating because of cyclical weather season, case in point will be hydro on summer months. ###