ERC hikes ‘allowable outage rate’ for Therma Mobile plant

by Myrna Velasco, 18 July 2015
from Manila Bulletin

The allowable outage rate for the generating facility of Therma Mobile ,Inc. (TMO) has been increased as hinged on its modified power supply agreement (PSA) with the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) that was recently approved provisionally by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

The ERC has issued a supplementary order on this following the joint filing of Meralco and TMO which sought clarification on permitted level of outage rates for the latter’s power plant.

This has also been in line with the Commission’s earlier approval on the relevant parties’ petition for amendments in their PSA, which in effect, had lowered their charges due to anticipated hike in the TMO facility’s capacity dispatch.

In the amendment agreement, it was propounded that the outage rate for the facility be “increased to 14 days per year plus 13 days after 4,000; 8,000; and 12,000 running hours.”

The parties-in-interest also batted for “minor change in operating procedures” as to the reporting parameters relative to scheduled outages.

Meralco and TMO have emphasized that “the clarification on this matter will enable the parties to smoothly implement the amendment agreement pending final evaluation and resolution of the application.”

In view of that, the ERC has clarified that “the provisional approval covers the increase in outage allowance and the minor change in operating procedures in the amendment agreement.”

The allowable outage rates in power plants have some bearing on the system’s supply-demand balance in an electricity system. And as prudent operations of a power system would dictate, the affected off-taker utility must always get its way into having replacement power when its contracted capacities are not delivering.

In the modified supply deal, the industry regulator had slashed the rate of the capacity to be delivered by TMO to Meralco by P0.8394 per kilowatt hour (kWh) to P9.3964 per kWh.

The ERC averred this is in line with “the higher dispatch that Meralco can avail of under the amendment agreement compared to the original PSA that caps the dispatch at 25-percent.”

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