DOE: Luzon grid has enough capacity until 2015

Posted at 01/31/13 7:18 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Energy on Thursday said the Luzon grid has enough capacity until 2015.

The DOE made the statement in response to Manila Electric Co.'s claim there will be frequent blackouts in Luzon this year if no new power plants are established to support the Philippines' economic growth.

"Based on the 2012 Power Development Plan (PDP) Luzon and Visayas grid will have enough capacity until 2015," the DOE said.

The DOE said the PDP estimates that peak demand in Luzon grid will increase at an average rate of 4.13% every year from 7,969 MW in 2012 to 16,477 MW in 2030.

Based on these estimates, the Luzon grid will require an additional 500 MW by 2016 and 8,100 MW by 2030.

The DOE pointed out that there are 7 committed power projects that are expected to be on line starting this year until 2015.

This year alone, there are 5 power projects. This includes the 600 MW GN Power coal-fired power plant in Mariveles, Bataan that will begin commercial operations on May 2013.

Other projects include the 21 MW CIP 2 Bunker (operational since January 17); 1.2 MW payatas LFG by Pangea (operational by March 2013); 13 MW Green Future Biomass (operational since November 2012 but not in full capacity, 13 MW will be available by 1st quarter of 2013) and 20 MW Maibarara Geothermal (commercial operation is 4th quarter).

The DOE said there are three more projects that will go on line in 2014 (20 MW Maibarara Geothermal) and 2015 (135 MW Puting Bato Coal Phase 1 and 11 MW SJCI Power Rice Husk).

"In addition to new power plants, there are also uprating/ rehabilitation of power plants that will add capacity to the grid, these are: 130 MW additional capacity from Bacman Geothermal and 5 MW per year (starting 2012 -2015) from Binga hydro uprating," the DOE said.

On Wednesday, Meralco chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan warned there may be frequent blackouts in Luzon this year.

"We do need more power plants in the country. The margin of (supply) safety in Luzon is very tight, and unless we fire up our oil-fired plants, we will experience brownout in Luzon," he was quoted as saying.