Documents exchanged between Petrobras, Aneel (National Electric Energy Agency) and the ONS (National System Operator) show that the state-owned company shut down a plant alleging risk of “catastrophic failure”, despite the ONS decision to keep the plant in operation . The information was released by the newspaper “Estado de S. Paulo”.
According to the publication, on the first weekend of September, between the 3rd and the 5th, Petrobras informed the ONS that it would need to suspend operations at its thermal plant in Três Lagoas (MS) because it had to carry out important maintenance on the structure.
When sending the schedule to the agency, the ONS denied the request and declared that “due to the energy scenario, with high loads and high thermal dispatch”, it had to maintain “maximum availability of generating units”. The recommendation was that the stoppage should take place on the holiday, between 5 and 7 September.
In statements obtained by the newspaper, Petrobras claims that it needs to carry out the shutdown due to “recommendations from the manufacturer (of the plant’s equipment) and the engineering team, and also in view of the risk of catastrophic failure of this turbine.”
The ONS is the one who determines what will be generated in each of the plants in operation in Brazil and, due to the low level of hydroelectric plants, the agency has required that thermal generation plants – gas, diesel, biomass and coal – operate at maximum capacity , which can overload the system.
To the newspaper, Petrobras stated that “requests for postponement, postponement or approval of shutdowns are part of the operational routine of the relationship with the National Electric System Operator”.
The ONS reported, in a note, that “as one of the actions to tackle water shortages, in July this year it requested all generating plants to postpone their maintenance in order to increase the availability of generation”. According to the agency, “it is up to the agent to assess the technical and operational feasibility of accepting the request or not”.