By Lenie Lectura - April 18, 2017
THE Lopez-led First Gen Corp. on Tuesday said a unit of the 500-megawatt (MW) San Lorenzo gas plant in Batangas is now back on line and is working on to reconnect other gas plants to the Luzon grid.
“We are exerting all efforts to enable Unit 50 [of San Lorenzo], San Gabriel and Avion to export their outputs within the coming days. Our site management team and our contractors have been tirelessly working since last week, including through the Holy Week break,” First Gen Vice President Jerome Cainglet said.
First Gen is currently repairing the San Lorenzo Switchyard (SL Switchyard), following the earthquake that hit Batangas on April 8.
The switchyard connects First Gen’s three natural gas-fired power plants—the 500-megawatt (MW) San Lorenzo, 414-MW San Gabriel and 97-MW Avion power plants—to the transmission lines of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines.
Of the two 250-MW units (Units 50 and 60) of the San Lorenzo power plant, the connection of San Lorenzo Unit 60 to the grid has been restored. Unit 60 was resynchronized to the grid and has resumed operations.
First Gen said it continues to exert efforts with the aim of restoring the grid connection through the SL Switchyard to enable San Lorenzo Unit 50, as well as San Gabriel and Avion, to export its output to the grid in the coming days.
While the 1,000-MW Santa Rita power plant tripped following the earthquakes, preliminary assessment showed the plant and the Santa Rita switchyard did not suffer any significant damage. The plant has since resumed operations.
Meanwhile, Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp.’s refinery in Tabangao, Batangas, has resumed normal operations.
“SHLPH is committed to the continuous supply of fuels to its retail stations and customers,” it said on Tuesday. The oil firm said last week it implemented a controlled shutdown of its refinery after four strong earthquakes caused a power outage in the facility.
“All personnel in the refinery have been accounted for and there were no injuries sustained as a result of the earthquakes and aftershocks. Thorough equipment inspections are being carried out and all necessary repairs and process safety confirmation are being undertaken,” it said last week.
The Department of Energy (DOE) said the earthquake resulted in a generation loss of 2,584 MW, which affected the power supply and services of various provinces in Luzon, including Batangas, Laguna, Quezon, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Bataan, Tarlac and Nueva Ecija.
The DOE’s Energy Policy and Planning Bureau (EPPB) is drafting a policy on resiliency planning and programs for the energy sector.
The program aims to strengthen existing infrastructure facilities to withstand adverse weather conditions and incorporate mitigation improvements into the restoration of damaged infrastructure “so that recurrence will cause less damage”.
Moreover, the proposed program would help improve operational and maintenance standards and practices to ensure expeditious restoration of energy supply after adverse weather conditions.