Aboitiz Power has collaborated with Thai company REPCO NEX Industrial Solutions to launch the first smart power plants in the Philippines.

The initiative, named Project Arkanghel, will create digital twins for Aboitiz Power’s circulating fluidised bed (CFB) coal-fired power plants, enhancing operational efficiency and resilience.

The digital twins will be developed for the 300MW Therma South Plant in Davao City and the 340MW Therma Visayas Plant in Toledo City, Cebu.

The facilities will act as the initial models for subsequent digital twin installations across other thermal power sites.

The digital twins will serve as virtual replicas that simulate the physical power plant’s operations, allowing for advanced scenario testing and real-time fault detection.

By employing data science and AI technologies, the digital twins will optimise the performance of the power plants.

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The integrated system will improve asset health monitoring, life cycle management and predictive maintenance, leading to reduced downtime.

Aboitiz Power anticipates that these technological advancements will result in fewer planned and unplanned shutdowns.

Malaya Business Insight quoted Aboitiz Power chief finance officer Sandro Aboitiz as saying: “The energy landscape in the Philippines is constantly evolving on the path towards transition. Our economy continues to grow at a rapid pace, requiring new sources of dependable and reliable power supply to support that economic growth.”

“We also see the impact of the continuing decentralisation and digitalisation of the energy value chain, supported by enabling policies and technological advancement.

Sandro Aboitiz added: “As more distributed energy resources are added to the grid, and consumers become prosumers [an individual who both consumes and produces], the need for stable and reliable baseload supply becomes even more critical to ensure the security of our grid.”

AboitizPower Thermal operated assets chief operating officer Aldo Ramos emphasised the significance of Project Arkanghel in enhancing the efficiency and resilience of the company’s thermal power plants.

Ramos stated: “It will also help to ensure that our plants provide reliable baseload supply and lessen downtime due to forced and planned outages.”

The investment in the technology is expected to be recouped through reduced downtime, as it enables timely predictions for part replacements, preventing extensive operational disruptions.

In February 2024 Aboitiz Power agreed to acquire an additional 15.6% equity stake in STEAG State Power (SPI) for $11m.

This deal raises Aboitiz Power’s ownership in SPI to 85%, with SPI operating a 210MW coal-fired power plant on Mindanao Island.