MANILA – Even with the Malampaya gas facility’s shutdown scheduled from March 15 until April 13, Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla has assured that Luzon’s power supply is stable as long as no plants go on forced outage.
“For as long as power plants do not go on unplanned or forced outage, we should be okay,” Petilla said in a statement.
He further stressed the public would only experience days of brownouts when the plants are down and not a full month.
The DOE has already worked with the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) to increase the current capacity and participants of the Interruptible Load Program (ILP), which is currently at a total capacity of 853.41 Megawatts (MW).
It assured it will continue on soliciting for more participants.
Meralco earlier said the ILP has coordination, even having previous dry runs in February and March.
It also continuously calls upon the public to conserve energy during the anticipated high electricity demand during the dry season months.
The DOE expects there will be a normal power situation and there will be no major power disruption in Luzon for the summer.
Power bills are expected to increase by not less than P1 per kilowatthour (kWh), mainly due to the shifting of fuel of three power plants, namely Ilijan, Sta. Rita and San Lorenzo, according to Philippine Independent Power Producers Association (PIPPA) President Luis Miguel Aboitiz.
He further warned that other factors such as the trading at the electricity market, Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM), and the subsidy of the ILP is expected to play a role in the increase.
The trading factor in WESM is still alleviated due to a pre-mitigating measure enforced by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), but the ILP subsidy decision – as of now – is still in a deadlock with the disagreements of the Congress and Senate.