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On the long weekend, consumers are urged to use less energy.

One power plant in Luzon is scheduled to shut down unexpectedly over the long weekend of April 29 to May 1. Thus, consumers are recommended to save electricity during that time.

“The Department of Energy (DOE) announced that the 647 megawatts (MW) Sual Coal-fired Power Plant (CFPP) Unit 1 will undergo an unplanned maintenance from 29 April 2023 to 01 May 2023 to resolve the build-up of a leak from the plant’s boiler tube and cleaning of the generator stator lot bar to rectify increase in temperature,” the DOE said in a statement on Friday.

Although the Sual power plant will be shut down, the DOE stated that there shouldn’t be many, if any, power outages because the maintenance will be carried out over the long weekend when there won’t be as much demand for electricity.

The DOE also begs assistance from the public by rationalizing the use of electricity between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., and 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. All businesses and residences that use air conditioning are advised to set their thermostats to 25 degrees Celsius during these times, it continued.

The DOE said that to reduce demand during the Sual shutdown, it has collaborated with the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), other distribution utilities, and other retail electricity suppliers to activate and expand its Interruptible Load Program (ILP).

According to the statement, the Department of Health would advise medical facilities to get their generators ready in case of power outages during the period.

Following an evaluation meeting last Tuesday with the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines and the TeaM Sual Corp. (TSC), the DOE approved the unplanned maintenance of a unit of the Sual power plant.

TSC initially requested the energy authorities for a maintenance shutdown from April 21 to 23 or for a longer seven-day window from May 5 to 11.

The DOE, however, determined that if the maintenance was to last for a longer seven-day period on May 5–11, 2023, it might cause a yellow alert or, in the worst case scenario, a red alert for weeks 18 (May 1–7) and 19 (May 8–14, 2023).

The DOE has stated that the generator slot bar repair will occur in late June or early July.

The statement said, “Sual Unit 1 works at a derated output of 580 MW from its maximum capacity of 647 MW to prevent aggravating the technical fault while waiting for the scheduled repair.

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