Department of Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi yesterday said that the government is planning to build a 200-megawatt (MW) liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant to serve as an emergency supply of power in Luzon.
In yesterday’s Senate hearing on the country’s power situation, Cusi said the DOE is looking to jump-start a 200-MW plant as an “army reserve” to intervene when the Luzon grid has thin supply.
“It would be a new power plant. I just ordered the study to begin the other week. So, I still have to see the program,” he said.
The energy secretary added that an LNG plant would be much easier to build, and it is a much cleaner source of energy than a coal plant.
Research on the possible LNG plant will be led by DOE’s corporate arm, the Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC).
The corporate arm is now looking at its Batangas property for the LNG plant, which will complement incoming plants from the private sector.
“We are required to have some reserve so we just want to make sure that we have a reserve… We’re looking at Batangas, PNOC has a property in Batangas so we’re using that in our study,” Cusi said.
The energy chief said that the government may fund the construction of the power plant through PNOC because of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001 barred the National Power Corp. (Napocor) from establishing new power plants.
“I just want to be comfortable that we have enough reserves,” Cusi expressed.
If the LNG plant is not be feasible, upcoming power projects expected to go online are the 400-MW LNG plant of Energy World Corp. (EWC) in Pagbilao, Quezon and the 414-MW and 97-MW Avion natural gas-fired power plants owned by First Gen Corp in Batangas City.