Conglomerate San Miguel Corp. plans to put a new 1,200-megawatt combined cycle gas turbine power project alongside the Ilijan plant in Batangas province to address the country’s growing power demand.
San Miguel president Ramon Ang said the new power plant with two units of 600-MW capacity each would be a “carbon copy” of the existing Ilijan power plant which the company administers.
Ang said there was a need to put up more capacity as early as three years ago.
“We can run it on diesel. We may be able to sell power from that because [supply may be tight again] next summer. We have three to four months of summer, so we can recover the cost from that,” he said.
San Miguel through subsidiary South Premiere Power Corp. successfully bid and won as the independent power producer administrator of Ilijan power plant in 2010.
Luzon’s power supply is generally tight during the dry months when demand is high and the hydropower plants are offline or operating below capacity due to low water level at the dams.
“The truth is, power supply is thin, reserves are thin because there were no plants built for the past three years,” Ang said.
He said power developers faced numerous challenges such as the delayed issuance of environment compliance certificate and other permits.
“I hope they will realize that the shortage in supply is worsening [and] we might have some problems soon,” Ang said.
He also asked the government to fast-track the competitive selection process or public bidding for distribution utilities and electric cooperatives and for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to act on pending applications for environmental compliance certificates.
“We are facing a huge shortage all over the country. In the Visayas, supply and demand is almost equal, same with Mindanao,” Ang said.
Ang directed San Miguel officials to scout for engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the new Ilijan plant such as GE Philippines. Another potential EPC contractor is Daelim of Korea which submitted a previous offer to San Miguel.
San Miguel officials said the new Ilijan power plant could be used as a peaking plant especially during dry months.
Grid operator National Grid Corp. of the Philippines placed the Luzon grid on yellow alert Saturday because of the thin power reserves with demand peaking at 10,166 MW while the available capacity was only 10,762 MW.
This was the 27th yellow alert status for the Luzon grid since January as power reserves fell below the capacity of the largest single power generating unit in the grid.
NGCP also placed the Luzon grid on red alert status for several hours on Friday, the 10th red alert status since January.
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