During Malampaya shutdown to assure adequate supply
The Department of Energy (DOE) has ordered Korea Electric Power Corp. (Kepco) to run the Ilijan combined cycle power plant in Batangas on liquid fuel during the 30-day shutdown of the Malampaya gas field in March.
Energy Undersecretary Zenaida Monsada said the move will ensure that there will be enough supply to the Luzon grid.
She said this is the first time that the 200-megawatt Ilijan natural gas plant will be forced to shift to liquid fuel as the plant had always scheduled its maintenance work to coincide with the Malampaya shutdown.
“Because of the very tight supply, if they have to conduct maintenance, defer it and run it because we need the additional capacity,” Monsada said.
She said the Ilijan power plant’s constraint is that it has only one fuel line so when it shifts to liquid fuel—either pure diesel or biodiesel (B2)—the plant has to first undergo cleaning operations due to the apprehension over water absorption.
Monsada said this cleaning operations may result to additional plant downtime when using biodiesel (B2 ), thus the total output of the power plant is assumed to be lower.
Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla earlier said he wants to increase the generation capacity from one block Ilijan power plant.
Petilla wants to maximize the Ilijan plant’s output to its full 600 MW capacity from the projected 420 MW when using diesel.
He had proposed suspending the application of the Biofuels Law with respect to the Ilijan plant to allow the plant to run on pure diesel.
But Monsada clarified that the expected lower output from the Ilijan plant as presented by Kepco was based on the assumption that the fuel line will have to be cleaned when it shifts to liquid fuel.