House panel offers alternative to ILP subsidy

by Myrna Velasco, 10 March 2015
from Manila Bulletin

The House panel has been offered an alternative on its proposed subsidy scheme for the self-generating facilities (SGFs) participating under the interruptible load program (ILP) as a solution to summer month’s power supply dilemmas.

It was gathered that in a closed-door discussion, Senator Sergio Osmeña III reportedly proffered that instead of tapping into the Malampaya Fund, the subsidy can alternatively be sourced from the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM).

The Senate energy committee chair reckoned that with heftier volume of water that can be utilized for the Caliraya-Botocan-Kalayaan (CBK) plant, its generation could potentially be increased up to 500 megawatts.

With that, he noted that PSALM would be able to fetch additional revenues – which it could then funnel as subsidy or cost compensation for the ILP participants.

The Monday (March 9) meeting of the bicameral committee deliberating on the Joint Resolution grating emergency powers to President Aquino to solve the power crisis still ended in a deadlock.

The Senate panel is hard-pressed on its position not to grant subsidies on the de-loading call for the ILPs, but its lower chamber counterpart is taking a reverse stance.

The estimated subsidy for the ILPs at the duration of the critical summer months had been placed at P200 million or an equivalent P0.04 per kilowatt- hour.

In the meantime, the Department of Energy (DOE) has reported that as of March 8, 79 ILP participants already listed under the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) for aggregate capacity de-loading of 393.36 megawatts.

For those cornered by the Retail Electricity Suppliers Association (RESA), they comprise of 207 contestable customers for total capacity of 497.29MW.

The energy department claimed that “this can be credited to (its) persistent promotion and invitation to potential participants in multiple industries in the country.”

When the ILP was being packaged for Luzon grid though, this was considerably lower in the department’s totem pole of options – the lease or purchase of generating sets from foreign suppliers then being its major target.

According to the DOE, SM Prime Holdings still has the biggest capacity offered for de-loading at 185.61MW; followed by Robinsons Land Corporation with 23.15MW; and the Walter Mart Malls with 14.30MW.

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