DOE seeks delay in power plants’ maintenance works

Ilijan SMC

With the thinning power supply in the Luzon Grid, the Department of Energy (DOE) said it wanted to postpone the maintenance activities for the Sual-coal fired and Ilijan gas-fired power plants.

Based on a Manila Bulletin report, DOE-Electric Power Industry Management Bureau Director Mario Marasigan said that the department recommended to move the maintenance downtime for Ilijan Block-A beyond June, and for the Sual plant to adjust its maintenance schedule.

Located in Pangasinan and Batangas City, respectively, the Ilijan and Sual facilities are officially the two biggest plants in the country. Sual has a 1,294-megawatt (MW) capacity or 647MW per generating unit, while Ilijan has 1,200MW or 600MW per block or unit. 

The two plants are expected to be overtaken by the 1,336MW GNPower Dinginin facility in Mariveles, Bataan as the country’s largest plant once it is fully completed.

Based on the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines’ (NGCP) power outlook for Luzon as of April, Ilijan Block A is due for maintenance this June and July, while Sual Unit 1 is up for repairs in August and September.

The DOE’s recommendation of rescheduling the yearly maintenance works for the two facilities had been among the measures pushed by the department to ensure that Filipinos will no longer be burdened with rotational brownouts within June and July.

Marasigan said they are still awaiting confirmation of the coordinated postponement of Ilijan Block A’s preventive maintenance beyond June. While the NGCP has already accepted it, the DOE is still pushing for its postponement.

He also noted that the DOE will not allow Sual and Ilijan’s respective maintenance schedules to overlap each other.

Both plants were involved in the Red Alerts leading to rotational brownouts in Luzon two weeks ago with Sual’s Unit 2 extending its forced outage and Ilijan being derated to 716MW due to restrictions from the Malampaya gas field in Palawan.