Corporate News

Lopez-led EDC says Malitbog geothermal power plant trips after flashover

Posted on August 23, 2016

LOPEZ-LED Energy Development Corp. (EDC) said on Monday that a fire hit the 77-megawatt (MW) second unit of its Malitbog geothermal power plant in Southern Leyte, causing it to trip last Wednesday afternoon.

EDC told the stock exchange that a “flashover” occured inside the high voltage terminal box of Malitbog Unit 2 at around 5 p.m. on Aug. 17.

A flashover is described as “the sudden and rapid spread of fire through the air, caused by the ignition of smoke or fumes from surrounding objects.”

“At the time of the incident Malitbog Unit 2 was offline and was in the process of testing and commissioning of its Automatic Voltage Regulator (AVR) under the supervision of ABB, the manufacturer of the AVR, as part of a 30-day scheduled maintenance outage,” it said.

EDC said the incident did not affect the grid as Malitbog Unit 2 was not synchronized to the grid at that time. No injuries to personnel were reported.

“EDC, together with ABB and other consultants and contractors are currently conducting an assessment of the extent of the repairs needed and a full review to determine all contributing factors that led to the plant incident to ensure appropriate measures are taken to enable the safe and reliable operation of the unit,” the Lopez-led firm said.

The company noted it has machinery breakdown and business interruption insurance for these incidents.

The Malitbog power plant is part of EDC’s unified Leyte geothermal power plants, which include projects in Tongonan, Mahanagdong, Upper Mahiao, and other projects in the province.

EDC is the largest geothermal energy producer in the country with 1,169 MW of installed capacity in strategic units in Bicol, Leyte, Negros islands and Mt. Apo. Its portfolio of renewable energy sources covers hydro, wind and solar power projects.

Last year was the first full year of operations of the rehabilitated and upgraded 140-MW BacMan units and the 49.4-MW Nasulo plant.

EDC shuts down the 232.5-MW Malitbog geothermal plant in the first quarter to install new control systems. It will also be shutting down the 112.5-MW Tongonan geothermal plant.

Shares in EDC lost 4 centavos to close at P5.96 apiece on Monday. -- Victor V. Saulon