AboitizPower sees tight power market this year

Richmond Mercurio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Aboitiz Power Corp. is optimistic about its prospects for this year despite challenging conditions in the power sector.

It said global supply chain uncertainties due to geopolitical events coupled with the risk of unavailable and insufficient transmission infrastructure, as well as the anticipated effects of El Niño on the production output of hydroelectric power plants are seen potentially aggravating tightness in the country’s power supply.

AboitizPower said consumption is likewise projected to grow by 6.6 percent this year, which will require 600 to 700 megawatts (MW) of new or freed electricity stock.

“While we see tight market conditions, we, at AboitizPower, are confident in our fundamentals and our diverse fleet of generation assets,” AboitizPower president and CEO Emmanuel Rubio said.

Rubio said AboitizPower’s upbeat prospects in 2024 is fueled by the company’s proven capability to cater to growing electricity demand and the development and launch of new generation capacities.

“We are dedicated to running our power plants with world-class availability and efficiency to help mitigate the country’s thin supply margins and reliably support the aggregate demand, as we did in 2023,” Rubio said.

“As electricity demand continues to grow, we will strive to generate more megawatt hours through higher plant availability — especially as we expect coal prices to decline — and new capacities,” he said.

AboitizPower targets to launch the 17-MW Tiwi binary geothermal power plant in Albay and the 159-MW peak (MWp) Laoag solar project in Pangasinan this year.

A number of its new projects are also eyed to come online by the end of 2024 to early 2025, including the 44-MWp solar plant in Tarlac, the 85-MWp solar plant in Pangasinan, the 206-MW wind project in Northern Samar in partnership with Vena Energy and Vivant Energy, and the 173-MWp solar power project in Negros Occidental.

The company likewise expects to break ground on a number of renewable energy projects this year, namely, the 212-MWp solar plant in Zambales, the 50-MW Camarines Sur wind project, and the 102-MW Rizal-Laguna wind project in partnership with Vena Energy.

Overall, AboitizPower has close to 1,000 MW of renewable energy projects in the pipeline.  This is in line with its goal of building at least 4,600 MW over the next decade.

“This substantial increase in electricity demand underscores the pivotal role of power generation, transmission, and distribution companies in meeting this need,” Rubio said.

“This requires significant infrastructure development, including constructing new power plants (both conventional and renewable), expanding the grid to ensure that power reaches demand centers, and improving the services, reach, and efficiency of our electric cooperatives and distribution units throughout the country,” he said.

Rubio also underscored the need for sufficient transmission capacity that can support the influx of new generation capacity, most of which are variable renewable energy, “so that when it comes online it can immediately contribute much needed supply to the grid.”

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