Meralco to increase generation charge by 46 c/kWh in April


Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) Vice President and Economics Utility Head Larry Fernandez confirmed Tuesday that generation charge will increase by 46 centavos per kilowatthour (kWh) in the April bills due to the Malampaya natural gas facility shutdown.

”The Malampaya shutdown will affect generation charge cost to go up on April bills by 46 centavos per kWh and 72 centavos per kWh in May,” Fernandez said at the sidelines of the Media Training Agenda held at the Astoria Plaza Hotel in Pasig City Tuesday.

According to Fernandez, the loomed upward trend will take effect during the March 15-25 billing cutoff, while another 72 centavos per kWh will be charged for April.

Fernandez explained the impending added charge was due to the shift of fuels of the Ilijan, Sta. Rita and San Lorenzo power plants, with the Malampaya shutdown.

He warned the generation charge might still move along foreign exchange gains or loss and the occurrence of forced outages.

But the Meralco vice president said the loomed increase will not be that high with the lower fuel costs, which are used by oil-based plants that are frequently tapped during the dry season months.

Fernandez stressed the transmission charge has not yet been included in the increase, which still has to be computed through grid operator, National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).

Meralco has contracted 500 Megawatts (MW) of capacity for the summer months from pending Interim Power Supply Agreements (IPSAs) with Limay, Bauang, Therma South Inc., Toledo, Panay, Therma Mobile and Bacman.

Aside from the 500 MW IPSA capacity, Meralco and the Retail Electricity Suppliers Association (RESA) has ensured a de-loading capacity of 855.91 MW from 253 Interruptible Load Program (ILP) participants as of March 16.

Fernandez assured that the ILP, de-loading of capacity through the use of generator sets is well coordinated, with three point persons notified through Meralco’s call center the day before running.

He said that the 1st ILP dry run contributed about 400 MWs, the 2nd dry run was much higher at 529 MW. However, 37 participants did not join the ILP dry run.

Electric Power Industry Management Bureau Director Irma Exconde stressed brownouts will still be dependent on forced outages.

Meanwhile, she added that the sole running unit of Ilijan only runs at 190 MWs from 420 MWs, with no target yet on when the full capacity will return.



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