The 668-megawatt (MW) Unit 1 of the GNPower Dinginin (GNPD) coal-fired power plant in Mariveles, Bataan is set to begin full operations in August, said Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Chairperson Agnes Devanadera.
Back in February, Aboitiz Power Corporation President and CEO Emmanuel Rubio said that Unit 1 could go on full operation as early as June 26, but could be pushed to August 26 should there be further delays. AboitizPower controls the plant.
GNPower Dinginin, which would also house another 668MW unit for a total capacity of 1,336MW, is expected to boost the Luzon Grid’s capacity and help avert rotational brownouts like what happened two weeks ago.
GNPD Vice President Roberto Racelis, Jr. said the company is working closely with government and industry stakeholders in making sure that Unit 1 delivers capacity to the Luzon Grid without any delay. Unit 1, operating currently at 600MW, has been online since March 22.
The suspended testing and commissioning, however, on May 31 due to a suspected boiler tube leak, which then contributed to the Red Alerts. The incident was reported to the ERC on June 3.
Racelis said GNPD is taking remedial measures to resolve the issue and enable Unit 1 to resume testing and commissioning activities. In fact, the plant has been committed to provide power to the Luzon Grid this Monday, according to Department of Energy-Electric Power Industry Management Bureau Director Mario Marasigan.
While Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian is hopeful that GNPower Dinginin would be the Luzon Grid’s saving grace, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy cautioned that the grid is still in a delicate state since Unit 1 isn’t in full operation yet.
Meanwhile, the international travel ban also delays the timely completion of Unit 2, previously scheduled for November 26. Rubio earlier said this could be pushed to January 26, 2022. The travel ban has particularly restricted the movement of specialists from various equipment suppliers, causing delays in construction and commissioning works.