Power supply critical in Mindanao, ample in the Visayas – DOE chief

The Philippine Star
February 20, 2011

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MANILA, Philippines – Luzon may get lucky to experience no brownouts this dry season despite tight power supply that requires 300 megawatts more during day-time peak hours.

The Visayas, except for a few islands, has escaped the power crisis with the commissioning of three new coal-powered plants in Cebu and Panay.

The new plants will be more than enough to meet peak demand and required reserve margins in the central Philippines group of islands.

The daily brownouts in Mindanao may persist this year as no new generating capacity is expected to be added.

These are the hard facts on the electric power situation in the country presented by Energy Secretary Jose Almendras in a dialogue with leaders of the business community led by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) the other day.

We have had a little luck as electricity demand in Luzon went down last December and in January because of the cold weather, Almendras said.

The biggest island, he admitted, is not yet off the hook. It now has very thin reserve and may need to import the excess capacity in the Visayas and activate the retired oil-fired generation plant in Navotas if the situation deteriorates.

We are monitoring the performance of the power plants daily and checking if private sector owners of the sold National Power Corp. (Napocor) plants are upgrading the efficiency of aging plants he explained.

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