EDC restores part of one Haiyan-hit power plant

MANILA, Philippines – The Energy Development Corporation (EDC) announced Thursday, December 19 that one of the three generating units of the 112.5-megawatt (MW) Tongonan Power Plant is back online.

It expects to bring back the other two generating units in the first quarter of next year.

Along with the 232-MW Malitbog, and 180-MW Mahanagdong plants, the Tongonan plant was one of the geothermal power plants badly hit by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). (READ: EDC restoring 147MW of Leyte plants' capacity by yearend)

In relation to the other plants, the EDC said its technical teams "identified cooling water restoration as critical activity, requiring replacement of fan blade assemblies, shrouds, fills and the main structures of the cooling towers themselves."

The Upper Mahiao and Leyte Optimization plants are currently undergoing reliability runs, with 57 MW successfully sent into the grid.

Leyte’s geothermal power plants supply about 650 MW of electricity.

Cebu and Leyte are still suffering from rotating blackouts due to this reduced supply of electricity, with the Visayan Electric Company (VECO) expecting the outages to continue into next year.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer noted in a December 13 report that “no clear deadline has been given for repairs to be completed on damaged Leyte plants which supply the bulk of Cebu’s power.”

Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said EDC’s facilities will be restored in a year’s time. "They said that some 120 MW will be back online by December. Thereafter, they will be able to restore in tranches until all is completed in a year."

Despite its best efforts, EDC Executive Vice President Ernesto Pantangco couldn’t promise anything above its current estimate of 147 MW. "If everything goes well, about 147MW of the total capacity will be back on line by end of the year. That’s about it.” – Rappler.com