Power Supply at Critical Level - CT

The power supply for the Catanduanes grid fell to a critical level the past month due to the emergency shutdown of the 3.6-megawatt generating set of the Catanduanes Power Generation, Inc. (CPGI), the defect of which was set to be repaired Jan. 17.

An official of the First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative, Inc. told the Tribune that the CPGI bunker fuel-fed Daihatsu genset conked out Dec. 5, with the firm reportedly suffering delay as the wrong spare part was ordered from its Japanese supplier.

The reason for the delay, the official said, is probably just being used by the firm to justify its longest shutdown since November 2009 when the National Power Corporation stopped supplying bunker fuel to CPGI. The company is set to sign its power supply contract with the cooperative, but the co-op board is reportedly asking the CPGI head himself to discuss with the board his firm’s assurance that there will be a back-up genset in case the 3.6-MW main genset is out of action.

As a result of the shutdown, the peak load capability of the grid fell to just 250 kilowatts, as three other gensets in Viga, Marinawa and the Power Barge 110 are either under preventive maintenance or awaiting repair.

If only one of the four Monark mobile gensets being rented by NPC fails, there would be rotating brownouts as the grid would have a deficiency of 550 kW, the co-op official revealed. The situation, he said, could have been worse but for the adequate power being delivered by Balongbong mini-hydroelectric power plant due to recent rains.

The capital town of Virac and other towns have suffered intermittent brownouts lasting five to 10 minutes in the past two weeks, with one enduring for several hours Thursday afternoon last week due a line fault in Feeder 5 supplying Virac.

Source: Catanduanes Tribune - 21 January 2010