GNPower Dinginin Unit 1 ops possibly in full swing by end-November

GNPower Dinginin Aboitiz

After months of delays, Aboitiz Power Corporation said it is looking forward to the full operation of the GNPower Dinginin (GNPD) coal-fired power plant’s 668-megawatt Unit 1 by the end of the month, the company said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange.

AboitizPower President and CEO Emmanuel Rubio said this comes as energy demand continues to picking up as the country recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We look forward to the commercial operations of GNPD Unit 1 by end-November this year. This will deliver the much needed energy into the grid to meet the country’s growing demand. Unit 2 is expected to be synchronized by [the first quarter of] 2022,” AboitizPower President and CEO Emmanuel Rubio said in the disclosure.

GNPD was supposed to begin commercial operations in 2019, but was pushed to 2020. However, more delays happened due to travel restrictions stemming from the pandemic. The plant began operating in March, though not at full capacity. Dinginin is not covered by the moratorium on the building of new coal plants since its construction began in 2017.

In the same disclosure, AboitizPower — the country’s largest power generator — reported a 70% increase in its consolidated net income for the third quarter to Php5.6 billion from Php3.3 billion in the same period last year.

The company’s higher income for the period was due to the commissioning revenue from Dinginin Unit 1; higher water inflow for its hydro plants; higher availability of the Therma Luzon, Inc., Therma South, Inc., and Therma Visayas, Inc. facilities; and higher spot market dispatch in compliance with the must offer rule.

AboitizPower said it was also able to claim liquidated damages for the delay in the construction of Dinginin Unit 1 and received the final payment for business interruption claims resulting from the GNPower Mariveles coal plant’s and subsidiary AP Renewables’ outages in previous years.

“We are also excited about our pipeline of projects, which are mainly renewables and already in various stages of development. In addition to these new projects, our baseload plants have been performing well above benchmark targets for availability and reliability. This is to ensure that while we are aggressively pursuing renewables, we continue to serve the Philippines’ baseload requirements,” Rubio added.

The company announced in August that it would invest Php190 billion for its renewable energy (RE) projects. Relative to this, the Philippine Competition Commission last week cleared Japanese firm JERA’s acquisition of 27% of AboitizPower, intended for the joint development of RE and liquefied natural gas ventures.

Photo from Aboitiz website.