MINDANAO-based Steag State Power Inc. said on Monday that it has decided to defer a major preventive- maintenance work set by the end of the month in the face of mounting concerns of possible energy shortage on the island.

In a recent letter submitted to the Mindanao Generation Office of the National Power Corp., Carsten Evers, PhD, Steag plant manager, said the maintenance work for one of its power-generating units will be deferred until the middle of this year, taking into consideration the critical supply of electricity in the Mindanao grid.

“Aware of the power situation of the island, we decided to postpone the maintenance work of our power-generating unit 1 to help ensure that Mindanao will have sufficient supply of electricity,” Evers said.

The Steag official said, however, that a load reduction by about 60 megawatts (MW) will be effected within the week to pave way for some minor maintenance activities.

“The load reduction is necessary to enable us to undertake urgent and important maintenance activities to ensure that the power plant will continue fulfilling its mission of providing a reliable supply of power to Mindanao,” Evers said.

Steag’s Mindanao plant has an installed net generating capacity of 210 MW and supplies roughly around 20 percent of Mindanao’s electricity.

Steag has so far delivered more than 4 billion kilowatt-hours since the start of its operations in the last quarter of 2006. Its timely operation has averted an impending power shortage on the island and has helped stabilize supply of power to Mindanao.

In November 2007, Aboitiz Power Corp. bought a 34-percent share from Evonik Industries AG in Steag State Power Inc.

Evonik remains the majority shareholder of Steag State Power Inc., indirectly holding a 55-percent share, while the remaining 11 percent is held by the local project partner State Investment Trust Inc.  

Written by Paul Anthony A. Isla / Reporter of http://www.businessmirror.com.ph

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