SNAP-Benguet, CBK Power fined for excessive unplanned shutdowns


SN Aboitiz Power (SNAP)-Benguet and CBK Power Co. Ltd. were fined close to Php1.3 million by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for going over the maximum number of unplanned outage days per year, specifically for hydroelectric power plants.

SNAP-Benguet was particularly slapped with an Php875,000 fine for the excess forced outages of the 34.85-megawatt (MW) Unit 1 of its Ambuklao hydroelectric power plant. Based on the ERC’s records, the generator had a total of 21.1 forced outage days from January 3-April 25. Since hydropower plants are only allowed 6.8 days of unplanned shutdowns annually, Ambuklao Unit 1 breached the limit by 14.3 days.

The ERC said SNAP-Benguet only explained its outage from March 20-April 4, but this shutdown was planned. SNAP-Benguet did not account for the other outages it had on other dates, specifically between January 4 and March 20, and between April 5 and 21.

CBK Power, meanwhile, was fined Php416,200 for the excess forced outages of the 175.1MW Unit 4 of the Kalayaan hydroelectric power plant in Laguna. The generator had a total of 14.3 unplanned outage days, 7.5 of which were in excess.

According to CBK Power, an internal oil leak led to the critical condition Kalayaan Unit 4’s Outdoor Sealing End (ODSE). It added that the problem could not be repaired the soonest give travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The commission, however, said CBK’s explanations and submitted evidence focused on the steps it took after the the outage incident and the company “was eerily silent” regarding the cause of the ODSE’s internal leak and whether preventive measures could have been set in place.

Previously, the ERC fined for excess unplanned outages Team Energy, Semirara Mining and Power Corporation, SPC Power Corporation, Energy Development Corporation, and government-owned Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation.

Including the penalties of SNAP-Benguet and CBK Power, the commission has already imposed Php12.2 billion in fines for excess forced outages covering the early part of the year.

Photo of Kalayaan hydropower plant from CBK Power website.