PCCI urges government action to prevent power crisis
- Ma. Elisa Osorio  () - October 11, 2010 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) is urging the government to review and adopt measures and possible alternatives in response to a looming power crisis.

As the country faces the power sector challenges in the next two years as related by current leaderships in various forms and statements, the PCCI said.

A presentation made by the Department of Energy to the PCCI shows that total power demand in the country is growing annually at 4.3 percent in Luzon and 4.6 percent in the Visayas and Mindanao. To meet the growing demand, DOE projects that from 2010 to 2030, Luzon should have additional capacities of 11,900 MW; Visayas, 2,150 MW; and Mindanao, 2,500 MW.

Data from the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines shows that on Oct. 5, Luzon’s dependable capacity was 7,703 MW while peak demand was 6,831 MW showing a reserve of 872 MW for that specific day, which is only 11 percent and substantially below the annual average forced and scheduled outages of some 20+ percent. This accounts for the persistent rolling brownouts and shall continue during this and the coming year.

With no power plants going on line in the next two and a half years, Luzon faces critical power shortfall of 300 MW to 600 MW until 2013 when the 600 MW of GN Power is supposed to be in operation.

In the Visayas, dependable capacity was 971 MW while peak demand was 1,298 MW, or a deficit of 327 MW. Some 647.5 MW is supposed to be operational in stages until 2011.Capacity in Mindanao was 1,137 while peak demand was 1,183 MW, or a shortage of 46 MW with only a 42 MW and the two 150 MW power barges newly acquired by the Aboitiz’s on sight.

Experts and industry players have noted that this power gap between demand and supply which could be reasonably anticipated but was not seriously addressed before is indeed the critical challenge today because power plants take enormous time and resources to build and supply contracts take just about as much and as long to win and conclude.

Dr. Francis Chua, PCCI president says, “There are big players willing to invest in power generation plants but they are not assured of viable buyers and decent returns”. Chua added, “Government should consider implementing measures to enhance the technical and financial capability of electric cooperatives to increase their capacity to enter into tenders and off-take arrangements.”

ABOITIZ CHUA DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY DR. FRANCIS CHUA IN THE VISAYAS LUZON MINDANAO NATIONAL GRID CORP PHILIPPINE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY POWER VISAYAS AND MINDANAO
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