Luzon faces thin power supply during Malampaya maintenance

Luzon faces thin power supply amid Malampaya shutdown

Aside from higher electricity rates, Luzon grid will lose about 1, 850 megawatts (MW) when the Malampaya project undergoes maintenance on January 28 to February 16, a Department of Energy (DOE) official said.

The Luzon grid’s critical period will be from February 13 to 17 based on the data provided by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), DOE spokesperson Felix Fuentebella said in a press briefing.

This is due to the scheduled shutdown of the 200 MW Calaca Unit 1, the 456 MW Quezon Power Philippines Ltd. Co (QPPL) plant, and the 600 MW Ilijan Block 1 at the same time.

Also, the 414 MW San Gabriel plant won’t be running while the Ilijan Block 2 plant will have a derated capacity of 429 MW as it will operate on diesel.

Following this, the Department of Energy (DOE) is tapping available renewable energy (RE) capacities, interruptible load program (ILP) participants, and demand side management from consumers to prevent shortages.

“We asked (Renewable Energy Management Bureau) to give us more inputs of RE coming in…We also asked Meralco to include ILP (in their projections). We are also looking into demand side management,” Fuentebella said.

The Luzon Grid will also source supply from the Visayas Grid that has two new coal – fired power plants running, the 135 MW Palm Concepcion Power Corp. (PCPC) coal power plant and the 150 MW Panay Energy Development Corp (PEDC) coal power plant, he added.

Meanwhile, the 97 MW Avion plant is under commissioning to run on diesel to increase supply during the Malampaya shutdown.

“What we can do is ensure sufficient supply,” Fuentebella said.

Electricity rates are seen to increase by P1.20 per kilowatt – hour I March as natural gas plants will run on diesel of condensate.

“It’s an issue of change of fuel from a cheaper fuel to a more expensive fuel,” Fuentebella said.

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