The Department of Energy (DOE) assured the public that contingency measures are in place to mitigate the 20-day shutdown of Malampaya natural gas in the first two months of 2017.
“We’ve met the affected parties and we are ensuring that there will be no reduction of generation. As early as now they are preparing contingency plans.
Maintenance is a part of the system. The ones who will be affected, either use condensate fuel or oil,” DOE Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay on Wednesday.
“All the maintenance schedule of power plants must be open and published,” he said.
The facility will undergo a maintenance shutdown from January 28 until February 16, and it is expected that there will be an electric supply deficit of about 700 megawatts (MW) in the Luzon grid.
Malampaya fuels three power plants: Santa Rita, 1,000 MW; San Lorenzo, 500 MW; and Ilijan, 1,200 MW. The Santa Rita and San Lorenzo power plants are owned by Lopez-led First Gen Corp., while Ilijan is owned by Kepco Philippines.
Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) and the DOE said they may buy electricity supply from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).
Malampaya’s last maintenance shutdown in November to December 2013 significantly pushed up power rates; this led to reforms in the WESM.
Earlier, Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC), operator of WESM, said that compared to 2013, the industry is now prepared or the impending shutdown.