Luzon power shortage looms in 2015
SBMA urged to allow construction of 600-MW plantBy Amy R. Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Energy Secretary Jose Rene D. Almendras has warned of possible power supply shortages in Luzon by 2015 if the proposed 600-megawatt coal-fired power plant of Redondo Peninsula Energy Inc. (RP Energy) would be stalled.
At the sidelines of the Shell Eco-Marathon launch Monday night, Almendras said he had stressed to concerned officials of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) how critical it was to build another baseload power plant that could augment the electricity supply by 2015.
“We really cannot afford not to have a new power plant by 2015. At the rate that consumption is growing and if we expect the economy to grow at the pace we’re growing, we will need at least another 600-MW power plant in 2015, another one in 2016 and another in 2017. We want to make sure that nothing goes wrong,” Almendras explained.
The energy chief added that only RP Energy could readily mobilize the construction of a power plant that could be made available by 2015 since the company has secured all the necessary contracts.
Almendras also pointed out that even the availability of electricity from the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM) would not be viable as the facilities that often sell through this platform use “expensive technologies” or burn more expensive fuel like diesel.
“The spot market by nature [makes use of] expensive technologies. You do not use that to provide baseload capacity. If you will use peaking or mid-term power plants as baseload, you are going to spike the prices of electricity, which is something we do not want to happen,” Almendras said.
Various groups, including the SBMA, have earlier lodged their opposition to the $1.28-billion coal facility of RP Energy—a consortium that included Manila Electric Co., Aboitiz Power Corp. and Taiwan Cogen Corp.
SBMA officials have also asked President Aquino to order the relocation of the proposed baseload facility to another site due to the potential danger it would pose on the freeport and mounting opposition from stakeholders of the economic zone.
However, Almendras said he was hoping that the issues raised by the SBMA would be addressed immediately, specifically those relating to plant emissions and fees that might be collected by the local governments concerned.
Short URL: http://business.inquirer.net/?p=66263