DOE imposes moratorium on new coal plants

Residents urge ERC to issue PSA on coal plant project in Atimonan, Quezon

Seeing the need for the country to shift to a more flexible power supply mix, the Department of Energy (DOE) has imposed a moratorium on the construction of greenfield coal-fired power plants.

Energy Sec. Alfonso Cusi said that based on the DOE’s assessment, the move would help build a more sustainable power system that would accommodate the entry of new, cleaner, and indigenous power sources. The moratorium will stay in force until the country needs additional baseload power.

The moratorium only covers new coal plant applications and will not affect energy firms with existing coal plants. As such, the Manila Electric Company’s (MERALCO) 1,200-megawatt Atimonan coal project in Quezon and AboitizPower’s 1,200MW Dinginin project in Mariveles, Bataan won’t be affected since these have secured the necessary permits.

Further, the DOE is reviewing pending coal plant applications.

Market analysts believe that the moratorium could somewhat slow down the long-term growth of domestic coal demand.