DOE wants gencos to align schedule of plant shutdowns

Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) - January 17, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Energy (DOE) urged generating companies (gencos) to align schedules of power plant shutdowns to maintain sufficient supply in the power grid during summer months.

The DOE recently convened power stakeholders to assess the power situation in Luzon and ensure that there will be enough supply, especially during the summer months.

The three-hour meeting, which was organized by the Electrical Power Industry Management (EPIMB) Bureau headed by DOE Undersecretary Emmanuel Juaneza, discussed the anticipated issues relative to ensuring sufficient power capacities in the Luzon grid.

He cited the need to have sufficient power supply and prevent power outages that inconvenience the consumers and disrupt business operations during the country’s recovery from the effects of the pandemic.

“We are constantly reminded by Secretary Cusi that we must ensure the efficient delivery of basic energy services to the people. We have to do better,” Juaneza said.

To maintain sufficient supply for the grid, DOE assistant secretary Redentor Delola sought gencos’ cooperation and support to arrange their schedules and to realign their maintenance activities.

“We have seen a lot of plant outages in the past few weeks and some of these have been extended towards the summer months. Considering the existing maintenance schedules of plants, we may have to realign our activities for the year to ensure the level of sufficient supply,” he said.

The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) presented a “good” power outlook for 2021 based on the agency’s forecast and submitted power plant maintenance schedules.

However, to improve the situation further, the gencos requested some adjustments to their schedules.

The DOE advised the gencos to submit a formal documentation of their requests so the NGCP could revise the grid maintenance program.

Meanwhile, the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) assured that the Malaya Thermal Power Plant in Rizal – one of the contingency plants – would be ready in case it would be tapped by the NGCP.

PSALM said it would build up the required fuel inventory by next week, and, as part of preventive maintenance, heat run tests would be conducted anytime this month.

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