DOE: No need to fear BacMan shutdown

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THE Unit 1 of the Bacon-Manito (BacMan) power plants in the Bicol Region has been shutdown for maintenance work.

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The shutdown began on Sunday and will last for 45 days.

The Department of Energy (DOE) allayed fears that the shutdown will affect power supply in Luzon.

Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said BacMan I is relatively smaller plant thus it will not give any impact to Luzon’s power outlook.

“Demand for the next 60 days is low and BacMan is a relatively smaller plant. So this should not affect our supply demand outlook,” he told The Manila Times in a text message.

BacMan is consist of BacMan I with two 55-megawatt turbines and BacMan II with 60-MW geothermal facilities.

According to Bac-Man Geothermal Inc. (BGI), the wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Development Corporation (EDC) that owns and operates Bacman power plants, the outage will give way for its maintenance work.

“The main purpose of the outage is the installation of the brand new Toshiba steam turbine rotor unit and diaphragms,” the EDC said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) on Monday.

The geothermal power plants are located in the towns of Bacon in Sorsogon province and Manito in Albay. The Lopez-led company acquired the BacMan geothermal power facility in 2010 from the state-auction block for P1.28 billion.

A good portion of the facility’s generating capacity, however, has been experiencing mechanical troubles and ongoing rehabilitation work.

In June of last year, EDC also switched off BacMan’s Unit 1 generating plant to replace the facility’s hot well pump.

Early last year, EDC likewise shut down BacMan’s Unit 2 after newly-installed turbine blades sheared off, causing damage to the facility.

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