DOE identifies new power project sites

By Myrna M. Velasco – June 11, 2017, 10:00 PM

from Manila Bulletin

Anchoring it on the “Dutertenomics” infrastructure build-up paradigm, Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi has identified new sites where upcoming power projects could be installed for the targeted 43,765 megawatts capacity until year 2040 in which investments could reach a high of P5.4 trillion.

“We have already indicated the ideal locations of the needed generation capacities, after considering all the important factors,” he said. At that level of targeted capacity, the scale of investments may reach as high as P5.4 trillion at the rule-of-thumb power project development cost of $2.5 million per megawatt.

For Luzon grid, the best possible sites, according to the energy chief, are in the National Capital Region (NCR) and Bicol region. In the Visayas, portended viable areas for power project developments would be in Cebu, Bohol, and Samar; while for the southernmost power grid of Mindanao, project siting could be targeted in Zamboanga Sibugay, Sultan Kudarat and Agusan del Sur.

The energy agenda of the Duterte administration casts power capacity ramp up for the industrialization path that it has been envisioning for the country – based on the 70:20:10 ratio on installations for baseload, mid-merit and peaking capacity needs of the system.

As set on blueprint, this will call for increase in baseload capacity to 25, 265 megawatts within the planning horizon; mid-merit capacity to be reaching 14,500MW; and peaking capacity of 4,000MW. Cusi, however, reckoned that beyond the development sphere of power generation facilities, there is another critical component of the power system that must be decisively addressed – the transmission segment of the electricity system.

In particular, the energy department is batting for fast-track implementation of the Visayas-Mindanao grid interconnection project; as well as the overall reinforcements and upgrades of the country’s electricity transmission network.

Others in the department’s indispensable ‘work-in-progress list’ would be putting up the alternative gas supply route and infrastructure chain with the much-anticipated decline or depletion of extractable gas reserves from the Malampaya field; and equally crucial would be addressing the round-the-clock electricity service needs of off-grid areas.

“To ensure the continuity of power supply from natural gas-fired power plants to anticipate the eventual depletion of the Malampaya gas field by 2024, the DOE has tasked the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) to build an integrated LNG receiving and distribution facilities with a reserve initial power plant capacity of 200MW,” he said.