Aboitiz denies “economic sabotage” for prolonged power plant outage

AboitizPower IPO

Aboitiz Power Corporation has denied being involved in “economic sabotage” in the wake of the Department of Energy’s warning to generating companies on the possible filing of charges over prolonged power plant outages.

AboitizPower (AP) President and CEO Emmanuel Rubio emphasized that none of its power plants, including the GNPower Mariveles coal plant in Bataan, are being intentionally shut down for its own gains.

“I don’t believe that. It’s particularly something that we will not do in AboitizPower,” Rubio said during parent firm Aboitiz Equity Ventures’ virtual press conference on Monday.

“One thing that we’ve always been saying, not just [with] AP, but all generators with substantial capacities, especially those that own baseload plants [is that most, if not all of them], have significant amount of contracts to justify the investments,” he added.

The plant’s 316-megawatt Unit 1 has been on a prolonged shutdown since February and may be back online by August.

“The only time generators are actually making returns and getting margins from their plants is when they are running. We don’t want to be shut down, as you know. We are measuring our availability, liability targets, and that is something we always communicate as the primary valued drivers for AboitizPower,” Rubio pointed out.

He pointed out that the company dreads unexpected plant outages because this forces it to purchase power from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM), usually at higher prices.

“If you’re out, you’ll be buying from WESM because no one would like to sell to you and you’ll be buying in those prices and probably selling at your contracted rates at [Php4 or Php4.50],” Rubio said.

Economic sabotage refers to an activity that undermines or weakens the country’s economic system by espousing price manipulation, especially in the sale of basic necessities and commodities.