• Luzon grid to get 297MW boost – DOE

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    At least 297 megawatts (MW) of extra electric supply capacity will be added to the Luzon grid in the next four months to help mitigate the projected power shortfall this summer, the Department of Energy (DOE) said.

    According to data released by the DOE, at least seven power plants currently under rehabilitation, uprating, or final commissioning are expected to be operational between the end of February and early May.

    Among the new capacities are the Combined Cycle Gas Turbine Power Plant in Limay, Bataan with an additional 37MW, and 20MW added to the 225MW diesel-fired power plant in Bauang, La Union.

    The two power plants are currently under rehabilitation and uprating and are scheduled to be completed by the end of March.

    Moreover, the interconnection of at least three power plants is also expected to be completed between end of February and mid-March.

    Among these are the Calitaya-Botocan plant in Laguna with 20MW additional capacity; JG Summit’s petrochem plants in Pasig, Laguna and Batangas; and the plant of Millenium Energy Inc. (MEI) in Navotas, Metro Manila with an additional 100MW.

    The Botocan plant has no backfeed power yet and is only waiting for the finalizing of the wheeling agreement between Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM), and National Power Corp. (NPC).

    The JG Summit contribution could be lined up by end of March if agreement is reached with the government on conditions to be met under the Interruptible Load Program (ILP).

    The plant is expected to contribute about 19MW accumulated from its self-generating facilities (SGFs) in Pasig, Laguna and Batangas.

    Millenium’s Navotas plant, meanwhile, expects to be commercially operated beginning on March 15.

    The DOE said it has already assisted MEI in securing the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC), Certificate of Compliance (COC) and other permits for operation as well as negotiating with Meralco regarding interconnection and wheeling charge agreement.

    Two other committed power projects are also set to be operational during the anticipated power shortage.

    These include the Majestics CEZ Solar Project which is undergoing testing and commissioning and is expected to provide 21MW, and the gas-fired 100MW Avion plant of Lopez-led First Gen Corp.

    The CEZ Solar facility is expected to be commercially-operated by the end of this month, while the Avion plant in Batangas is expected to be completed by April 15.

    “The completion of testing and commissioning (of the Avion plant) with the availability of natural gas from Malampaya will be in early May,” the DOE said.

    The DOE has projected that a power shortage is likely to be experienced from March to June this year due to the scheduled shutdown of the Malampaya gas field from March 15 to April 16, and unscheduled shutdowns of a number of other power plants.

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