The Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) is pushing for the immediate construction of new power plants to secure the country’s long-term power requirements and support the government’s Build! Build! Build! program.
FPI, , composed of 34 industry associations, urged the power industry – including the Department of Energy (DOE), Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), and private companies – to work together to ensure that electricity supply and prices will not be an additional burden to consumers.
Dr. Jesus Lim Arranza, FPI chairman, said different sectors, including property, real estate and construction, are experiencing the impact of inflation, which is reflected on the costs of basic goods and commodities. “We want the power industry to step up and do something, so we can prevent a potential problem on electricity supply,” said Arranza, noting that building more power plants and bringing in more supply to the market can bring down power prices. FPI also raised alarm that most of the power plants in the Philippines are ageing and most of them are already 15 years old or older, which make them prone to unplanned blackouts. The group cited the 1,200 Megawatt coal-fired power project of Atimonan One Energy, Inc. (A1E), which has yet to start construction due to pending regulatory approvals. Power plants of A1E’s scale take around four to five years to build.
“The Atimonan project is an example of a very significant power project that can ensure supply availability in the future,” Arranza said. He added that the project will even pioneer the Philippines’ first plant that will utilize high efficiency, low emission (HELE) technology called ultra-supercritical, which is already being used in other countries like Japan.
“We may have enough supply right now but we cannot say the same for the future,” Arranza warned. “We cannot just cross the bridge when we get there because it is not a problem that can be solved in an instant.”
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