Monday, April 17, 2017

First Gen taps Siemens on ‘interim solution’ for quake-affected plants

Published April 11, 2017, 10:00 PM By Myrna M. Velasco

Lopez-owned First Gen Corporation has engaged German firm Siemens AG for a “provisional solution” on the capacity wheeling of its gas-fired plants that had been affected due to earthquake-induced damage at its San Lorenzo switchyard.
The listed firm told the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) “the company is already working on an interim solution to restore operability of the San Lorenzo switchyard.”
This will be done in coordination with Siemens Power Operations, Inc., a subsidiary of the German energy giant, which is the operations and maintenance (O&M) contractor of the San Lorenzo and San Gabriel gas plants.
First Gen qualified that following the hit of earthquakes on Saturday, the operations of its gas-fired generating facilities in Batangas had been plagued, although there had been no “major damage” detected on them.
Nevertheless, the Lopez firm noted the calamity “damaged various components of the San Lorenzo switchyard,” which is the common facility for the capacity transmission of generated electricity from its San Lorenzo, San Gabriel and Avion plants.
It explained that since the switchyard “connects the San Lorenzo, San Gabriel and Avion power plants to the transmission lines of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, no power from these plants can currently be exported to the grid.”
On per plant assessment, First Gen specified that “the Santa Rita plant did not suffer any significant damage, and has since resumed operations.”
For the company’s other plants, inspection reports showed that “the San Lorenzo, San Gabriel and Avion power generating units sustained no damage from the earthquakes that can prevent these from operating.”
The rated capacities of each plant are as follows: 1,000 megawatts for Santa Rita; 500MW for San Lorenzo, 414MW for San Gabriel and 97MW for Avion plants – and all running on natural gas fuel.
Aside from the Lopez-owned plants, Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi had set out directive to all energy players, primarily the power plant operators “to ensure the safe and immediate restoration of their power facilities affected by the earthquake.”
Beyond repair of the power facilities, the energy department is also keeping an eye on rate impact of the sudden tightening of power supply due to the combined smash of the natural calamity, forced outages and scheduled maintenance shutdown of power plants.

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