Energy chief lauds building of new Pagbilao power plant

MANILA Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi lauded the Pagbilao Energy Corporation (PEC) on Friday for boosting its energy power plant facilities, saying these help boost the energy security in the country.

A joint venture between TeaM Energy Corporation and the Aboitiz Group's Therma Luzon Inc (TLI), the PEC is beefing up its two coal-fired power plants, the Pagbilao Units 1 and 2 in Quezon, and the expansion--the Pagbilao Unit 3 that has a capacity of 420 MW.

"With the growing economy and more commercial activities, the demand for power is also growing. So we need power plants like the Pagbilao 3 to sustain national development," Cusi remarked on the sidelines of the launching of the e-trikes being donated by the Department of Energy (DOE) to four cities in Metro Manila.

For two consecutive days on May 31 and June 1, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) placed the Luzon grid on yellow alert, as a number of power plants tripped unexpectedly, bringing the power supply situation in Luzon in an unstable situation.

The NGCP noted a high consumer demand for electricity on Thursday and Friday, thus the issuance of a yellow alert, amid the temporary outages of some of the Luzon grid's old power plants, such as the coal-fired Calaca 2 power plant and the thermal Malaya 2 power plant.

According to the DOE, a "yellow alert" is a condition that could plunge the grid into brownouts if the system would not be very quick in its response. It means the reserve power is low.

In a text message to reporters on Friday, the NGCP said the available capacity that day was 11,354 MW, while the peak demand was 10,615 MW.

Earlier this week, Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV) chief executive officer Erramon Aboitiz told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) the Pagbilao 3 project had begun early this year.

He noted that the Pagbilao 3, as well as two other projects that he's expecting to finish this year, will give additional power supply to consumers in Luzon.

Cusi acknowledged that although the Pagbilao Unit 3 is coal-fired, it complies with the agency's environmental standards by using flue gas desulfurizer (FGD) technology, which removes sulfur dioxide from exhaust flue gases of fossil-fuel power plants.

Aboitiz earlier announced that the firm will continue developing a mix of technologies to deliver energy reliably and reasonably.

Meanwhile, according to DOE, the Pagbilao Unit 3 costs PHP976 million to build.

Aboitiz told the PNA that the firm borrowed money from local banks to finance its projects, basically 70 to 75 percent through loans. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency