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Baseload power plants vital for factories – FPI

(The Philippine Star) - September 10, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Curtailing the construction of baseload generating facilities to help in the global push for greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction will only hurt the Philippine economy and the consumers, the Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) said.

Instead, government should push for GHG reductions through alternative measures such as energy efficiency and the optimized use of natural resources, according to the largest organization of manufacturing firms in the country.

“Creating barriers for baseload fossil fuel-fired power generating facilities, especially coal-fired power plants, are heavy disincentives that will eventually affect the economy and the consumers, but will have an insignificant impact on global GHG,” FPI chairman Jesus Arranza said in a statement.

Baseload power plants are power generating facilities that can operate reliably and efficiently generating electricity 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Currently, coal-fired power plants are the most feasible solution to address the country’s power needs, the FPI said.

Data from the Department of Energy (DOE) showed there are 12 coal-fired power plants with a total capacity of 3,398 megawatts committed until 2019.

“Power plants which are ready for implementation and are targeted to address the need for energy should not, in any way, be delayed,” Arranza said.

In light of the worsening El Nino phenomenon, the DOE has warned power supply from hydropower plants across the country is threatened.

In a congressional hearing last Monday, acting DOE Secretary Zenaida Monsada said they are now finalizing the estimates on the effect of El Niño on power supply.

However, she noted Mindanao would feel the brunt of the phenomenon’s impact on power supply.

“Mindanao can be impacted by El Nino due to dependence on hydropower,” Monsada said, noting the worst power situation could be felt in the fourth quarter this year until the first quarter of 2016 based on initial estimates.

The insufficient power supply situation, Arranza said, could prejudice the competitiveness of Philippine industries in the region.

“This threatens the country’s position and progress in the upcoming Asean integration as foreign and local investors favor our neighbors for their investments,” he added.

The FPI believes the Philippine government position on GHG mitigation should be in the context of sustainable development as stipulated in the Rio Declaration that the country is a signatory to.

“The Philippines should not commit to a level of GHG reduction that will sacrifice its development objectives and be left behind by its neighboring countries,” Arranza said.

ACIRC ARRANZA DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY EL NI EL NINO FEDERATION OF PHILIPPINE INDUSTRIES JESUS ARRANZA MINDANAO POWER RIO DECLARATION SECRETARY ZENAIDA MONSADA
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