Fast track power plant rehabilitation – DOE

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras has ordered power utilities that bought government assets to fast-track the rehabilitation of power plants to mitigate the worsening power crisis in the country.

“I have given two or three letters already to the companies who have bought government assets, pleading with them to please accelerate the rehabilitation,” Almendras said in a radio interview.

He said the rehabilitation of power plants is needed since the country is in need of at least 300 megawatt of power this year and another 300 MW in 2012, based on the projection of the Department of Energy (DOE).

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), a power distribution company, said in an October 9 advisory that Mindanao is in need of at least 108 MW this year; Visayas, 141 MW; and Luzon, 686 MW.

Because of the lack of power supply in Mindanao, the NGCP has once more resorted to power curtailment forcing local power utilities to resort to rotating brownouts.

In this capital city of Northern Mindanao, the Cagayan de Oro Power and Light Company (Cepalco) is imposing a two-hour rotating brownouts due to the “continuing power supply curtailments imposed by the NGCP all over Mindanao.”

“According to NGCP, the power supply shortage is due to the maintenance outage of NPC’s Pulangi 4 (Unit1) and Agus 6 (Unit 1) hydro electric plants; non-operation of Therma Marine’s two of its power barges and reduced capabilities of some other NPC hydro plants,” Cepalco said in its October 8 advisory.

Almendras also batted for renewable energy projects and non-hydro power sources such as coal to insulate the country from power outages. Bong D. Fabe

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