SMC’s Limay plant to boost supply for summer months

By Myrna M. Velasco – March 26, 2017, 10:00 PM

from Manila Bulletin

Available power capacity may run tight during the summer months because of the successive maintenance shutdowns of power plants, but the Department of Energy (DOE) is at least counting on the first 150-megawatt unit of the Limay coal-fired power plant of diversifying San Miguel group for supply shoring up.

The power project of SMC Global Power Holdings has four units of 150MW capacity each, but it will only be unit 1 that is expected to become commercially available starting May 1 this year. The second unit is targeted around August.

According to system operator National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), the next plant on stream would be Pagbilao unit 3 at 420 megawatts that will kick off commissioning process by July this year.

The capacity of the two plants had already been factored in by the DOE on its summer power supply-demand contingency planning.

Nevertheless, the overall outlook would still be ‘teetering supply’ at the peak of summer months in May with some capacities off from the system due to planned downtimes for repair and maintenance.

In a statement to the media, the DOE was still perceptibly rambling on its outlook and plans on guaranteeing reliable electricity supply on the stretch of the scorching weather months.

The department had given mix of immediate up to medium and long-term plans, but less certain would be on efficiently keeping the lights on over the critical periods of March to June.

At the very least, the DOE said it will continue its “’close coordination among stakeholders in monitoring the entire energy supply chain.”

Beyond pushing for the completion of the Limay plant and monitoring Pagbilao plant’s maintenance shutdown, it noted that it will also ready the Malaya thermal plant in case supply breaches prudent level of reserves.