Freeman Cebu Business

DOE assures enough power supply in Visayas next year

Carlo Lorenciana - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines – The energy agency has assured electricity consumers in Visayas that the region will have enough power next year amid concerns on the projected energy shortage in Luzon and the rising power rates.

Department of Energy Visayas director Antonio Labios said the power capacity of the region's grid would exceed the expected demand.

By elasticity ratio, the DOE has estimated the peak power demand next year to grow by seven percent as based on the national economic output growth estimate of seven percent in 2015.

Labios reports the grid's dependable capacity can reach 2,100 megawatts.

The commissioned power plants set to operate next year can further add capacity to the grid.

The peak demand next year, based on the agency's 2014-2020 power outlook, could reach 1,800 MW. The supply-demand figures show the grid can have contingency reserve power in case of higher-than-expected demand.

"Overall, the Visayas power outlook is positive," the energy official told The FREEMAN, saying however, electricity consumption during the summer months will increase as El Niño is predicted to last until early 2015.

Additional capacity

Renewable energy projects which are set to operate commercially next year will supply an additional capacity of 128.6 MW, slightly down from the initial figure of 135 MW.

Once the 128.6-MW power capacity is transported to the grid, the director says it will eventually generate nearly 2,300 MW of dependable capacity.

These projects have already been committed, which means construction and commercial commissioning are already definite with financial closing.

The 50-MW wind power plant of Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corp. in Nabas, Aklan will operate in February for its phase one and in September for phase two.

The 54-MW wind farm still of Trans-Asia in San Lorenzo town in Guimaras, according to Labios, will operate by April. It was initially targeted to start commercial operations early next year.

The 18-MW Biomass project of San Carlos BioPower, Inc. in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental will start operations commercially in February, data from DOE indicates.

Another 3-MW HPC Biomass project and 3.6-MW AES Biomass are also set for operations in February and August, respectively.

Labios also said the grid will have additional power capacity of 587 MW from upcoming power plants through 2017. The two 135-MW coal-fired power plants of Palm Thermal Consolidated Holdings Corp. in Concepcion, Iloilo are set to operate in 2016.

In addition, 2015 indicative power projects, those that have no financial closing yet, will generate 331.90 MW. The energy department says a project is considered indicative if it still in stages of project development prior to financial closing.

Sufficient power

In a previous interview, J. Rey Maleza, supervisor of DOE Visayas Energy Industry Management Division, said no conventional power plants were commissioned for operations next year.

He also expressed a positive power outlook for Visayas and that it could supply sufficient electricity for big events in 2015 such as the ministerial meetings of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

The Visayas grid can also export a maximum 200 MW of power to Luzon next year to help ease the anticipated looming energy crisis, Labios says.

The House of Representatives recently approved on final reading the giving of emergency powers to President Aquino to address the looming Luzon power crisis amid questions if there really is a crisis.

However, local energy officials reiterate Visayas will not be affected of any power shortage in Luzon.












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