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Repair work takes its toll on Aboitiz Power plant

Publicly listed Aboitiz Power’s plan to open its 70-megawatt (MW) hydroelectric power plant by October may be in jeopardy due to problems arising from ongoing repair work at the facility, the company told the local bourse.

Aboitiz Power on Monday said that its subsidiary Luzon Hydro Corp (LHC) received a notice of occurrence of default from the National Power Corp (Napocor) “in relation to the delay in the completion of tunnel lining repair” at the Bakun AC hydroelectric power plant in Ilocos Sur.

The delay in the repairs has caused “prolonged downtime of LHC,” the company that is supposed to operate the plant.

“LHC is currently endeavoring to address and discuss the issue with Napocor in order to mitigate the effects of Bakun plant’s prolonged downtime,” the Aboitiz Power disclosure read.

Repairs, which are being done by Napocor, were originally scheduled to be completed last June. Aboitiz Power took full ownership of LHC last May. The target date for completion, however, was moved to October because repairs were taking longer than expected.

“As previously disclosed, LHC expects the repairs to be completed by October of this year and will immediately resume operations thereafter,” Aboitiz Power said.

Aboitiz Power owns LHC through subsidiary Aboitiz Renewables Inc.

The power company, together with Norwegian partner SN Power, acquired major power assets from the government, including the Bakun plant.

In a separate disclosure, Aboitiz Power said it also received a Certificate of Compliance (COC) from the Energy Regulatory Commission for the Unit 1 Turbine of its Binga Hydroelectric Power Plant (HEPP) in Barangay (village) Tinongdan, Itogon, Benguet.

The COC is valid for five years from the date of its issuance.

The refurbishment and upgrading of Unit 1, whose capacity was raised to 31.45 MW from 25 MW, began on January 6. With its capacity expanded, Unit 1 started commercial operations on July 30.

SN Aboitiz Power-Benguet, an affiliate of Aboitiz Power, is the owner and operator of the Ambuklao-Binga hydroelectric power complex, consisting of the 105-MW Ambuklao Plant in Bokod, Benguet; and the 100-MW Binga hydroelectric power plant in Itogon, Benguet.

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