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DOE declares moratorium on endorsing coal power plants

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi on Tuesday declared a moratorium on endorsements for greenfield or new coal power plants following the periodic assessment of the country’s energy requirements.

Cusi said in a statement the Department of Energy’s most recent assessment revealed the need for the country to shift to a more flexible power supply mix.

He said this will help build a more sustainable power system that is resilient in the face of structural changes in demand and flexible enough to accommodate the entry of new, cleaner and indigenous technological innovations.

“While we have initially embraced a technology neutral policy, our periodic assessment of our country’s energy requirements is paving the way for innovative adaptations in our policy direction,” Cusi said.

Cusi made the announcement in a speech for the 2nd Global Ministerial Conference on System Integration of Renewables held as part of the Singapore International Energy Week 2020.

DOE spokesman Felix William Fuentebella said coal projects listed under the department’s committed power projects were not included in the moratorium because they already secured endorsements.

“We are guiding our investors in advance. As the DOE makes periodic assessments, we can see the balanced way forward,” Fuentebella said.

He said the DOE would issue an advisory to investors for now, but the detailed discussion would follow.

Among the committed power projects in Luzon have a combined capacity of 5,401 megawatts. Of the total, 58.2 percent or 3,436 MW are coal-fired power plants, according to the latest report of the DOE.

These include the AES Masinloc Power Partners Co. Inc.’s 300-MW coal plant expansion in Zambales; 1,336-MW coal plant of GN Power Dinginin Coal Plant Ltd. Co. in Mariveles, Bataan; 1,200-MW coal plant of Atimonan One Energy in Quezon; and Redondo Peninsula Energy Inc.’s 600-MW coal plant in Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

Cusi said the Philippines is now allowing 100-percent foreign ownership in large-scale geothermal exploration, development and utilization projects.

Large-scale geothermal projects are those with an initial investment cost of about $50-million capitalization through financial and technical assistance agreements.

FTAAs may be entered into between foreign contractors and the Philippine government for the large-scale exploration, development and utilization of natural resources and are signed by the president.

Topics: Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi , Department of Energy , DOE , coal power plants
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