ERC: 5 power companies exceed allowed unplanned outages


The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) says that its probe revealed five power-generating companies violating its allowable unplanned outages allowance.

In a report by Manila Standard, ERC Director for Market Operations Service Sharon Montaner said in a Senate hearing that the commission would release an order for the Masinloc coal-fired power plant unit 1 and Sem-Calaca Power Corporation coal plant unit 2 to clarify why they went beyond the implied limit of unplanned outages.

Montaner added that a major factor in the generation shortage from April 16 to April 21 was the forced outage of four generating units from the 1,438 megawatt (MW) Sem-Calaca, Masinloc, and Pagbilao coal plants.

The ERC director also explained that the forced outage of the Pagbilao plant units 1 and 2 was done to repair the ruptured tubes and hinder further damage to the equipment, which if unresolved, would have triggered longer outages.

Prior to the red and yellow alerts being issued, Masinloc Unit 1 and Sem-Calaca Unit 2 were already under prolonged outages and had been undergoing maintenance to ensure the reinstallation of their corresponding units.

The ERC added that it is considering requesting explanations from the Visayas grid’s units, namely Palm Concepcion Power Corporation Unit 1, Malitbog Geothermal Plant Unit 1, and Mahanagdong Geothermal Power Plant Unit 2, for their outages.

In 2023, 14 generation companies were penalized by the ERC, reaching around Php 60 million, for exceeding the permitted number of outage days.

Meanwhile, 95 generation companies are still being investigated for going above the allowed outages under ERC Resolution No. 10, series of 2020. The purpose of the investigation was to figure out whether the regulation covered or allowed these outages.