Malampaya back online after 20-day maintenance

Malampaya gas supply can last until 2029, but…

The Malampaya natural gas project is now delivering natural gas to power plants after completing its 20-day maintenance shutdown on Thursday.

“We have been informed by Shell Philippines Exploration Corp. (SPEx) consortium that as of 7 am [Thursday], they can deliver natural gas. Currently, power plants are converting from diesel to natural gas,” Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said on Thursday.

Fuentabella said that there were no instances of inadequate power supply during the maintenance shutdown due to favorable weather conditions and demand side management.

“There is sufficient supply because we are helping each other in coordination meetings. More importantly, we want to emphasize on the demand side, that demand was really low. It can be attributable to the weather, also demand side management,” the DOE official said.

During the maintenance, natural gas plants Ilijan Unit 2, Sta. Rita, San Lorenzo, and Avion plants ran on alternative fuel to operate and generate power. Replacement fuel – like diesel – costs P6 to P8 per kWh, while natural gas costs P4 per kWh.

The government also turned on the 650 MW Malaya thermal power plant in Rizal to boost power supply in Luzon in case of sudden power supply drop.

900 MW from the Interruptible Load Program participants was also on standby during the maintenance.

The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) has proposed to stagger the power rate hike implementation due to the Malampaya maintenance shutdown starting March until May.

Meralco’s overall rate is expected to rise by about P0.9174 per kWh for the March billing.

The Malampaya gas project – located in the offshores of Palawan – supplies to about 40 percent of natural gas plants in Luzon, the Ilijan, Sta. Rita, San Lorenzo, San Gabriel, and Avion plants, that supply 3,211 megawatts (MW) to the Luzon Grid.