MANILA, Philippines – When the Malampaya gas-to-power project undergoes a 7-day maintenance program this July, residents served by the Luzon power grid are assured that blackouts will not affect them, but higher power rates may.
“We don’t think it’s going to be a problem in terms of meeting the reliable power supply situation. However, there may be a slight increase in power prices at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) during that 7-day period,” Ernesto Pantangco, president of the Philippine Independent Power Producers Association (PIPPA) said in a press briefing on Thursday, April 12.
The Malampaya gas-to-power project provides 2,700-megawatts (MW) of natural gas to the following:
- First Gas Power Corp.’s 1,000-MW Sta. Rita and 500-MW San Lorenzo natural gas-fired power plants
- National Power Corp.’s (Napocor) 1,200-MW Ilijan natural gas-fired power plant
The Lopez-led First Gas Power plants has allocated a 30-day buffer fuel stock to run its 2 plants, while the state-owned Napocor has deferred the scheduled maintenance of its other power plants during the period that Ilijan is offline.
As in the past, Pantangco said the more expensive bunker-fired power plants will be coming in to supply power to the Luzon grid, since the natural gas-fired power plants will be out.
Meantime, the Department of Energy assured consumers through a statement that there will be no impending brownouts in the said region given the scheduled shutdown of the Malampaya gas plant for seven-day maintenance in July.
DOE said it has already met with the National Power Corp. (Napocor), NGCP, and power generators to set up contingency plans that will not affect the power supply situation in Luzon as the plants running on Malampaya gas can also run on alternate fuels.
DOE also explained that the shutdown is scheduled for July since power demand will be lowest and other baseload facilities would have already completed their annual maintenance work. – Rappler.com