Raffles &Fairmont Hotel, Makati City
11 September 2014
President Benigno S. Aquino III, together with Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla, chief executives of TeaM Energy Corporation (TEC) and Aboitiz Power Corporation (AP), led the ceremonial countdown on the target completion of the 420-megawatt Pagbilao III Power Plant Project at the Raffles & Fairmont Hotel in Makati City.
According to President Aquino, this is just one of the many initiatives being pushed by the government to reform its energy sector, which recently faced many setbacks in meeting the fast-increasing demand on power supply. The President attributed the increase in power demand to the tech-savvy lifestyle brought by the internet era and the economic resurgence which went up to 6.3% in 2010-2013 from the average growth of 4.3 percent in 2006-2009.
However, President Aquino said that while the energy sector was able to make gains with 1,799.52 megawatts added to its supply from new and re-commissioned plants—allowing for a total 15,466 megawatts as of June, Luzon might still suffer a possible power shortage of up to 300 megawatts next summer that might even reach to 1000 megawatts. Factors include the old Agus 6 hydroelectric power plant in Mindanao that has been running for more than twice its 30-year lifespan and Mindanao’s ten-year exemption from the EPIRA law which hinders investors to come in, not to mention, climate change which multiply power consumption.
President Aquino said that he will formally ask Congress for a joint resolution that will authorize the national government to contact an additional generating capacity to address the 300-megawatt projected deficit, and to have sufficient regulating reserves equivalent to 4% of peak demand for another 300MW. The Department of Energy, he added, will also continue to solicit participation for Interruptible Load Program (ILP) until next year.
“Let me assure our partners from the private sector: Government intervention will be focused solely on addressing the projected shortage. We have no plans of intervening to distort the market or complicate the situation even further,” the President said.
The US$976-million unit 3 power plant project, to be constructed adjacent to the existing units 1 and 2 of the Pagbilao power station with 735MW combined energy, is expected to supply Luzon and Visayas with additional 420MW of generating capacity once completed in November 2017.
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