MARIVELES, Bataan — GNPower Dinginin Ltd. Co. (GNPD) on Thursday committed to grid stability as it announced that Unit 2 of the GNPower Mariveles Energy Center (GMEC) in Barangay Alas-Asin here was already operational.
“After undergoing emergency shutdown due to boiler tube leak last June 2, operational na ang GMEC Unit 2 pero 160 plus megawatts pa lang, hindi pa full load sa capacity nito,” GNPD vice-president Roberto B. Racelis, Jr. said.
Unit 1 of the coal power plant was earlier placed under maintenance shutdown and is expected to be back in operation in the third quarter of this year.
Racelis said the timely completion of Unit 2 will directly contribute to preventing a repeat in 2022 of this year’s power shortages.
“As always, GNPD is one with the government in its response efforts on the coronavirus disease and is steadfast in its commitment to play its part towards this end,” he said.
Racelis noted that GNPD agreed with the observations made by several congressmen and stakeholders during the hearing last June 4 by the House committee on energy to maximize all available capacity that can now augment supply and reserves for grid stability.
“We support these collective efforts as soon as it has resolved technical issues is prepared to deliver Unit 1’s maximum net capacity of 668 MW during this critical period especially when operating margins are thin and to help the country as it fights back against the ongoing pandemic,” he said.
Racelis added that they confirmed during the House hearing that Unit 1 of their plant was undergoing testing and commissioning.
Their company, he said, thanked the Energy Regulatory Commission for permitting the conduct of these necessary steps and allowing to dispatch Unit 1 at its maximum design net capacity of 668 MW, subject to conditions set by the regulator.
He cited reports by the Department of Energy, the ERC and the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines that the testing and commissioning activities on the plant had to be suspended temporarily last May 31.
Such suspensions, Racelis explained, are expected to occur during these testing activities for various reasons such as in this case, a boiler tube leak, that was beyond the control of GNPD. He said that this technical issue was communicated to the ERC on June 3, 2021.
He said that they were earnestly working at remedial measures to resolve the issue and enable Unit 1 to resume testing and commissioning and augment supply to the grid with its ability to make available 668 MW.
“Rest assured that we are working closely with our government and industry stakeholders in making sure this capacity is provided to the grid without delay. Despite the unprecedented challenges during this pandemic, GNPD has continued construction activities throughout while maintaining strict protocols to ensure the health and safety of thousands of workers employed to achieve this,” Racelis said.
He furthered that with compliance to EVOSS Law and mindful of pandemic conditions, they are confident that the regulatory processes are in place to enable GNPD to secure all necessary approvals and permits to dispatch for commercial operations of Unit 1 at its full net capacity of 668 MW, as noted by DOE during the hearing.
EVOSS Law under RA 11234 mandates the creation and establishment of the Energy Virtual One-Stop Shop.
He, however, mentioned that the current international travel ban is delaying the arrival of urgently required specialists from various equipment suppliers, which consequently delays the necessary construction and commissioning works.
“The delay in mobilizing technical field advisors, operating and maintenance, construction and performance and testing staff will result in a day to day delay to the completion of the entire GNPD project,” Racelis said.