The sudden outage of the 316-megawatt (MW) Unit 2 of the GNPower Mariveles coal-fired power plant, which led to the entire facility’s shutdown, triggered the longer implementation of the Red Alert status over the Luzon Grid today, resulting in island-wide rotating brownouts.
In an advisory, the Department of Energy (DOE) said that GNPower Mariveles Unit 2 went offline at 356AM due to a suspected boiler tube leak. Unit 2 supposedly went back online towards the end of April after a six-week unplanned shutdown.
The plant’s 316MW Unit 1 is still down. Unit 2 is expected to be back online by June 8, while Unit 1 is expected to be operational by August.
Unit 2’s bogging down presented a potential power shortage. Total projected available capacity for the Luzon Grid as of 9AM was at 11,408MW as against the projected system peak demand of 11,593MW. This also brings a total of 2,498MW shaved from the Luzon Grid, 1,579MW of which are from unplanned outages.
This morning, DOE officials met with representatives from the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) and Aboitiz-owned GNPower Mariveles Energy Center Ltd. Co., which owns and operates the plant, to discuss its condition.
As a result of the power supply situation, the NGCP may implement Manual Load Dropping causing rotating brownouts across Luzon, including Metro Manila.
The DOE says it is continuing to monitor the power situation and will submit the additional pieces of information for consumers and the enforcement agencies, including the Energy Regulatory Commission, the Philippine Competition Commission and the Department of Justice, considering its long term strategy of addressing the power supply and demand situation during the summer season.
The department also said yesterday that the Red Alert in the Luzon Grid would last for the next couple of days due to another suspected boiler tube leak in the 600MW Unit 1 of the GNPower Dinginin plant, another AboitizPower facility.
Photo from GNPower website.