Luzon should gear up for regular rotating brownouts within the next three years due to regulatory delays that have hindered the development of new power plants.
This was the warning of San Miguel Corp., whose own projects totalling to at least 1,500 MW have been delayed since 2016.
SMC President and COO Ramon Ang noted that delays in the construction of several power plants were rooted in the slow processing of regulatory requirements such as environmental compliance certificates, among others.
“There is already a looming shortage that is why prices in the spot market are high. This is our immediate major concerns,” Ang was quoted in a Philippine Star report.
He added that if these are not addressed properly, the country can look forward to a power crisis starting next year.
“We are going to face rotating blackouts in 2020, 2021 and 2022,” Ang said.
The Luzon grid was placed on a 13-hour red alert status after the shutdown of several power plants this April, which resulted in rotating blackouts.
According to the Department of Energy (DOE), the Luzon grid has lost 2,489 MW because of planned maintenance, unplanned outages and de-rated capacities of several power plants.
Plants with unplanned outages are: the 150-MW Unit 2 of San Miguel Consolidated Power Corp., the 647-MW Sual Unit 1 of Team Energy and San Miguel, the 150-MW Unit 2 of Southwest Luzon Power Generation Corp. of DMCI, the 420-MW Pagbilao Unit 3 of Team Energy and Aboitiz Power, and the 135-MW Unit 1 of South Luzon Thermal Energy Corp. of the Ayala Group.
Additional capacities are planned to address the power shortage seen in the next four years, Ang said.
Ang has directed power arm SMC Global Power general manager Elenita Go to pursue the investment of a two-unit gas turbine plant next to the Ilijas gas-fired power plant in Batangas.
“We bought the land adjacent to the Ilijan plant so we can build a plant beside it,”Ang said.
This year recorded a total of 27 yellow alert in the Luzon grid, and 11 red alerts due to several power plants outages.
Meanwhile, Ang also cited the need to boost water supply in Metro Manila.
An unsolicited proposal submitted to utilize water from other water sources such as the Kaliwa Dam and Laiban Dam as Ang believe this will supply 3,800 million liters of water daily.