Govt promises stable electric supply on election day

by Alena Mae S. Flores –  April 25, 2016 at 11:56 pm

from Manila Standard Today

The Energy Department said Monday there is no need for emergency powers to ensure adequate electricity supply during the May 9 election, as over 12,000 megawatts will be available in Luzon during the period.

Energy Secretary Zenaida Monsada told reporters if all the power plants were online as targeted, power supply in Luzon would be at a “very comfortable level.”

“The premise is that all plants will be in operation by election period and if that is followed, we will be in a very comfortable level for Luzon and Visayas,” Monsada said.

“For Luzon,  demand is not expected to reach 9,000 MW because it is a holiday but we don’t know the temperature, or how hot it will be.  We are looking at available capacity of 12,000 MW,” she said.

Mondasa said two new power plants, including the 97-MW Avion natural gas plant and the 414-MW San Gabriel natural gas plant, started operation and were expected to be available to provide additional supply.

The additional capacity from the two new power plants will be on top of 12,000 MW expected to be available during the election period, she said.

“We don’t see the need for emergency powers because we manage [supply], learning from last year. At this point , I would like to thank cooperatives, all stakeholders, generators, transmission and distribution utilities because they have done so much to prepare for the elections,” Monsada said.

Monsada said Mindanao might still experience some power outages at the household level, but voting centers would have generating sets.

The energy chief, who is supposed to meet the power firms on Monday afternoon, appealed to them to complete all repair works a week before the election.

“We want to check the status of their maintenance schedule, if there are some plants who may have to extend,” she said.

Monsada said the 620-MW Malaya diesel power plant was also on stand by as a must-run unit.

She said unit 2 of the Malaya power plant was running at 130 MW while unit 1 was on maintenance shutdown.

Monsada also defended that need to run the Malaya power plant. “As consumers, we don’t want power rates to go up but what do you think is more important, having electricity or having no electricity,” she said.

She said the department would continue to monitor the maintenance shutdown of power plants in June but “hopefully it will not be too hot by that time.”