by Lenie Lectura – January 18, 2016
from Business Mirror
THE Department of Energy (DOE) is looking at 53 committed power projects to boost the country’s power supply by 4,992.2 megawatts (MW).
The projects are expected to enter commercial operation
between December 2015 and 2020, the DOE said.
Of the new power projects, 19 are coal-fired power plants, 30 are renewable-energy (RE) projects, two are natural gas and two are diesel. RE sources include geothermal, solar, wind, hydro and biomass.
The DOE said the share of RE projects is increasing for the five-year period. The DOE is earnestly pushing for a higher share of RE in the country’s fuel mix to meet the target installed capacity of RE resources to 15,304 MW by 2030.
Energy Undersecretary Mylene Capongcol, in an earlier text message, said the current fuel mix is “approximately 30 percent for RE, a bit more than 30 percent for coal and 30 percent for gas. The balance is oil-fired.”
Luzon is assured of 2,396.6 MW of additional power-generating capacity from eight coal-power plants, five biomass, two natural gas, six hydro and two solar projects lined up.
These include the 82-MW power project of Anda Power Corp.; 150 MW of Southwest Luzon Power Generation Corp. (SLPGC); 135 MW of South Luzon Thermal Energy Corp.; and another 150 MW of SGLPC. All of these are coal plants that started commercial operations last month.
The first 150 MW of SMC Consolidated Power Corp.’s Limay power facility is targeted for commercial operations in August this year. The second unit, producing another 150 MW, would be fully operational by January 2017. The power facility will also utilize coal.
Meanwhile, the target commercial operation of the 420-MW coal-fired plant of Pagbilao Energy Corp. and the 460-MW coal plant of San Buenaventura Power Ltd. Co. is set for November 2017 and June 2019, respectively.
All new coal-power projects in Luzon will contribute 1,697 MW of additional power.
Also on the list are two natural-gas power projects of First Gen Corp. that would bring in 550 MW of capacity this year.
Meanwhile, the share of biomass projects in Luzon is equivalent to 33.7 MW; hydro 65.9 MW; and solar 50 MW.
The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), the largest distribution utility firm, is increasing its capital expenditure (capex) this year to keep up with the increasing demand for electricity. It currently serves 5.7 million customers in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite and Rizal, as well as parts of Batangas, Laguna, Quezon and Pampanga.
“The demand will continue to grow, basically demand will probably grow in Luzon by about 250-MW to 300-MW peak demand per year,” Meralco President Oscar Reyes said, while pointing out “the market is changing and demand is growing.”
“Assuming it’s a 2.5-percent growth,” Reyes said, referring to the yearly average economic growth, “that’s about 270-MW growth in the Luzon grid. That’s almost one power plant a year, notwithstanding de-rating and retirement of old power plants.”
It is estimated that about half of the Philippine GDP is generated in Meralco’s franchise area. Its market share is at 74 percent for Luzon and 55 percent for the entire Philippines.
For the Visayas, a total of 12 power projects with a combined capacity of 675.3 MW will boost the grid’s power supply.
Three coal projects, with a combined capacity of 420 MW, will be coming in from August to November this year. These are from Panay Energy Development Corp. (150 MW) and Palm Thermal Consolidated Holdings Corp. (2×135 MW).
Solar projects of San Carlos Solar Energy Inc. (18 MW) and the Philippine Power Solar Energy Corp. (132.5 MW) will contribute 150 MW this year.
Four hydropower plants from Sunwest Water and Electric Co. Inc. (8 MW), Century Peak Energy Corp. (5.1 MW), Quadriver Energy Corp. (8 MW) and Natural Power Sources Integration Inc. (.08 MW) —for a total of 21.9MW—are set for commercial operation in 2018 and 2019.
Other power projects in the Visayas include an 18.9-MW oil-based plant of Energreen Power Development and Management Inc. and the 14-MW wind-power farm of Petrogreen Energy Corp.
The same data from the DOE showed that Mindanao will get an additional 1,920.3 MW of supply from 18 power projects. Of these, 1,760 MW are from coal-power plants.
The biggest project will involve GN Power Kauswagan Ltd. Co.’s 540 MW. It will be available in March 2018. FDC Utilities Inc.’s 405 MW is the second-biggest project that will be made available in June (Unit1), September (Unit2) and December (Unit3) this year. Both are coal-power projects.
Other coal plants to be put up in Mindanao include the following: the 100-MW Unit 1 (February 2016) and 100-MW Unit 2 of Southern Mindanao (November 2016); the 150-MW Unit 2 of Therma South Inc. (February 2016); 150-MW Unit 1 and 150-MW Unit 2 of SMC Davao Power Plant (March and June this year); and the 165-MW Balingasag Thermal power plant (2017).
Six hydro projects, with a combined 134.2 MW of capacity, are also coming on-stream. These are Lake Mainit (25 MW); New Bataan (2.4 MW); Puyo hydropower (30 MW); Asiga hydropower (8 MW); Manolo Fortich 1 (43.4 MW); and Manolo Fortich 2 (25.4 MW). Their target commercial operation is set in various months of 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Also on the list are three biomass facilities that will contribute 14.2 MW of additional supply. These are PTCI Rice Husk-fired biomass (1.6 MW); LPC Rice Husk (10 MW); and GEEC Biomass (2.6 MW). These will start commercial operations this year.
Last, SPC Koronadal diesel plant will contribute 11.9 MW.
Based on the assumptions of the DOE, there will be enough power supply for 2016. The agency assured that this includes reserves.
“We have available generating capacity nationwide totaling 134,300 MW as against the demand for 12,000 MW, or a surplus of 1,300 MW,” Energy Secretary Zenaida Monsada said.
She said Luzon has 9,800 MW of capacity as against a projected demand of 8,900 MW. The Visayas, she added, has 1,800 MW of power supply, while electricity demand is projected at 1,600 MW. Available power in Mindanao stands at 1,700 MW versus a demand of 1,500 MW.
The numbers, however, are tight. This could mean that brownouts may happen if and when power plants conk out this year.
“We cannot predict a sudden plant breakdown,” Monsada said. “But we are closely working with the power-plant owners to ensure that their facilities operate smoothly this election season so there would be no power outages.”