COVID-19

Sual power station ordered locked down, but to continue operating

Ahikam Pasion
Sual power station ordered locked down, but to continue operating

File photo of the Sual Power Station in Pangasinan

Facebook of Sual Municipality

A COVID-19 outbreak among its employees forces a lockdown of the main source of electricity of Luzon. The power station though will continue operating.

The Sual Power Station, the largest coal-fired power plant in the country and the main source of electricity of the Luzon grid, will be placed under lockdown because of a COVID-19 outbreak among its employees. The power plant though would continue operating.

The mayor of Sual town in Pangasinan, the site of the power station, ordered a 15-day lockdown after 14 employees there tested positive of the dreaded disease.

Mayor Liseldo Calugay’s Executive Order No. 32 series of 2021, ordered the power plant sealed off from August 26 to September 10.

Calugay said the lockdown was needed “to isolate and control the interaction of employees to other people, which could spark local infection.”

However, despite the lockdown, the power plant would continue its operations, under the condition that safety protocols were strictly followed.

In particular, the employees were to remain inside the plant premises at all times during the lockdown period.

This guaranteed continuous operation of the power station which supplies a big bulk of the electricity needs of Luzon island, especially the Metro Manila.

Sual Power Station is the largest coal-fired power station in the country with a generating capacity of 1,200 MW.

Only the COVID-19 task force, municipal health office, doctors, hospital staff, medical responders, and garbage collectors, and relatives of positive patients were allowed to enter and exit to deliver needs and services.

Meanwhile, Calugay ordered the local police to block the area – preventing entry and exit in all points of the compound.

The plant is owned by Team Energy, a joint venture between Marubeni Corporation and the Tokyo Electric Power Corporation under a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) scheme set to expire on October 2024.

In November 2009, the San Miguel Energy Corporation (SMEC), took over the power plant, based on an Independent Power Producer Adkinistrator (IPPA) agreement it entered.

Since 1999, the Sual Power Station located in Barangay Pangascasan near the Lingayen Gulf, has been supplying large quantities of electricity in the Luzon Grid. – Rappler.com

Ahikam Pasion is a Luzon-based journalist and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship.

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