DoE Eyes Expansion of Power Plants

Manila Bulletin, August 22, 2005 | Go to article overview

DoE Eyes Expansion of Power Plants


To at least save on the daunting task of securing project sites, the Department of Energy (DoE) is banking on planned capacity expansion of existing power facilities and projects already at advanced stages of implementation so the industry would be able to fend off feared nearterm supply shortages.

"Right now, we are trying to promote more judicious operations of power plants, so we can stretch supplyand that is coupled with approach on demand side management so power usage can be distributed more efficiently and be able to bring down peak demand level," said Energy undersecretary Melinda L. Ocampo.

The energy department is also at the thick of revising the countrys power development program; eyeing some downscaling in projected demand because of slower economic growths.

Ocampo noted that they are getting inputs from stakeholders; primarily the distribution utilities; and also from the independent power producers in revisiting the countrys power development blueprint.

She has stressed while they are staunchly promoting energy conservation; this has to be done with balance, so that economic activity and productivity would not be compromised.

But investors said their concerns are way beyond site provisions for projects, noting that what makes the investment climate more depressing and problematic are the regulatory framework and the lack of political will of the energy officials to squarely face the problem of a looming power crisis; with more interest thrown into "quick fixes."

Similarly, the energy department noted that it wants to promote energy-efficient operation of power plants; as this will not only help in bids to conserve energy; but will also be beneficial to end-consumers by not having to shoulder any additional costs that may be tacked on to power rates because of inefficiencies in the course of generating the electricity eventually wheeled to their businesses or houses by their power suppliers. This can be achieved it was noted, by the adoption of efficient technology and in ensuring some important aspects in the business, such as fuel availability, among others.

Currently certified as energy-efficient power facilities, according to the DoE are Duracom Mobile Power II, Panay Power Corporation, NPC Power Barge 105, Bauang Private Power Corporation, San Lorenzo Combined Cycle Power Plant, Sta. Rita Combined Cycle Power Plant, Southern Mindanao Power Corporation and Mirant Pagbilao Power Station. (MMV)

For future power projects, investors opined that technology choice would actually have a big weight in their investment decisions; because this will determine their capital costs and the level of risks they will face. …

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