Ministry of Energy plans to take control of power plants following Saturday blackout

ZGM DAILY

2018-09-19 08:00 GMT+8

Minister of Energy Davaasuren Tserenpil held a press conference on the citywide blackout affected Ulaanbaatar last Saturday. Due to the accident, two generators were damaged and the case is currently under investigation. Thermal Power Plant IV was also damaged by an accident last Spring.

The Minister informed that an official letter has been sent to the Government Agency for Policy Coordination on State Property (PCSP) to demand accountability from the Administering Engineer responsible for the incident; however, PCSP did not give any response and a major accident occurred last Saturday. Therefore, Mr. Davaasuren noted the significance of taking power stations under the Ministry’s control to entail accountability and provide independent energy.

He added, “Due to potential voltage fluctuations, I demanded to limit solar and wind energy, as well as Baganuur power station to generate 150MW power. Solar and wind powers are highly inefficient as the electrical voltage will fall due to natural circumstances. If Baganuur plant installs 350MW power generator, a malfunction similar to last Saturday will also affect the entire power system. Therefore, we must intensify the implementation of a hydropower plant.

We would have overcome the last incident with a single click of a button if we had a hydropower plant. Instead, we had to heat the generator for four hours to restart the system. We are barely managing consumption thanks to Russian reserve line.” The minister further blamed the PCSP for appointing unqualified staff to administrative positions and for the lack of accountability.

He also highlighted that the aging equipment problem at power stations and necessity to expand Amgalan Thermal Power Plant, as well as to hold correct policies on renewable energy. “If the same thing were to happen during the cold season, the entire city will freeze. Thus, we have to settle this issue immediately,” warned Mr. Davaasuren. 

Additionally, the incident coincided with the Russian experts’ visit and caused the upgrading of four generators at Thermal Power Plant-IV to be postponed to deal with winter load. Minister of Energy then briefed about his plans to reform the energy sector. Due to the above-mentioned reasons, he plans to limit renewable energy to be not more than 300MW and force Baganuur station to have dual 150MW generators, instead of 350MW. Furthermore, the Minister plans to intensify the establishment 90MW hydropower plant in Erdeneburen in cooperation with China.

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