ENERGY Secretary Alfonso Cusi issued instructions on Wednesday for energy stakeholders to deliver all the assets necessary for the maintenance repair of the Malampaya natural gas (natgas) facility by January 15 to make sure that repair activities remain on schedule.
The Malampaya maintenance repair is scheduled from 28 January to 16 February 2017.
The Department of Energy (DOE) said it will closely coordinate with all Malampaya stakeholders—the Malampaya Consortium, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), Manila Electric Company (Meralco), Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) Corp., Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC) and power generation companies and other distribution utilities—to ensure sufficiency of power supply during the shutdown period.
“Materials, equipment and other assets necessary for the maintenance of Malampaya should all be delivered by January 15 and these should be ready for deployment to make sure that the repair activities should remain on schedule,” Cusi said.
The Energy department noted that during the maintenance activities, some power plants are on scheduled maintenance as well. Based on the initial study, the lowest projected power supply capacity during the period will be 8,747 megawatts (MW) on 18 February, while highest demand is projected to reach 8,610 MW on 9 February.
To ensure sufficient supply, the DOE requires the affected natgas power plants to run on alternative or replacement fuel, which are more expensive than natural gas. Natural gas as fuel only costs around P4 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) while replacement fuel, such as diesel, costs around P6-P8 per kWh.
“The department is exploring all possible options and remedies to maximize protection for consumers,” Cusi said.
To augment power supply, the DOE said it was preparing to launch the Interruptible Load Program (ILP) under which around 900MW of supply are enrolled.
The DOE also encourages consumers to practice effective “demand-side management.”
“The public should also be proactive in computing the effect of price adjustments to be provided in the simulations given by the agencies concerned for consumers to practice efficiency measures to avoid price shocks,” Cusi said.