200-MW Shortfall Seen In Mindanao

The starvation of the province, Mindanao from electricity is in danger, suffering from another 200-megawatt (MW) shortfall for the succeeding years due to high demand and continues lacking of generation capacity.

It is said that the Department of Energy (DOE) is already banking on power charges and diesel-fired power plants to upsurge the available power in the region next year.

Energy Secretary, Jose Rene Almendras, mentioned that, “If we do not have additional generation in Mindanao by the dry season next year, we will have a shortage.”

“I am looking at least 100 MW, almost 200 MW. It also depends on the rainfall next year,” Almendras added.

Up to the present time, the hydroelectric power plant is responsible for 53 percent of the total power supply in Mindanao.

The Mindanao network, according to the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, which is in need of at least an average of 1,300 megawatt (MW) during peak hours, lacked 50 MW to 300 MW, resulting in two to four hours of rotating blackouts in the first quarter.

“In Mindanao, the situation has significantly improved. What is being reported to us is that there are no more blackouts,” Almendras said.

As an update, last week, there was still no power outage in Mindanao which follows the completed repair of the 200 megawatt (MW) Pulangi IV hydropower plant in Bukidnon.

The DOE released a circular outlining effort last March needed from numerous government agencies and private firms to lessen power outages in Mindanao.

But, Almendras said that Mindanao is running on bare requirements and is without any emergency reserves. A failure in any of the power generation equipment will thus automatically result in a shortfall and blackouts.

Almendras said that the situation might worsen next year when demands increases and there is insufficient rainfall for the hydropower plants.

The DOE recommends that the resumption of operations and rehabilitation of the 100 megawatt (MW) Iligan diesel power plant and the rehabilitation and transfer of 120 megawatt (MW) of privately owned power barges, and the transfer to Mindanao of the 96 megawatt (MW) of power barges presently operated by National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR), in order to solve the power supply concerns.

The DOE is in talks with private firms for the transfer of several power barges, Almendras said.

The Commission on Audit (COA) review is ongoing regarding the Iligan plant issue.

“The COA has requested for some additional documents from the local government unit and from the bidder to substantiate their offer, their process and pricing,” Almendras said

The 100-MW plant, which was last operated in 2010, was sold to Alsons Consolidated Resources Inc. (ACR) subsidiary Conal Holdings Corporation after the local government acquired it due to tax delinquency.

However, the power plant also needs COA clearance before it can be sold to ACR and resume operations.

Almendras said that the DOE wants the plant to start operations within the year for it to reach the maximum capacity ahead of the dry season next year.

Lastly, DOE is reviewing its plans following the failed bidding of four 32-MW power barges of Napocor.

The bidding of the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management for the diesel-fired Power Barges 101-104 failed last week as only one of seven qualified bidders submitted an offer.

Under the bidding rules, winning firms should immediately transfer these power facilities to Mindanao and would have to stay there until 2014.

The DOE has been giving some warnings last 2010 with regards to Mindanao that it needs additional baseload generating capacity through private investor participation.

But the DOE said there were delays in securing permits from local government units.

For instance, Aboitiz Power Corporation, Sarangani Energy Corporation, and San Miguel Corporation are planning to put up coal-fired power plants in Mindanao but host communities opposed these plans due to environmental concerns.

Fuel, LPG Prices Rolled Back

Oil giants Petron Corporation and Pilipinas Shell and smaller Seaoil Philippines will rollback prices of their petroleum products, except for their premium gasoline, starting 6 A.M. today.

Temporarily, distributors and refillers of cooking gas yesterday reduced again the price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) by P2 per kilogram.

The prices of diesel will be decreased by 50 centavos per liter, kerosene by 40 centavos and regular gasoline by 30 centavos per liter, according to the officials of the two oil firms.

“This is to reflect (price) movements in the international oil market,” Petron said.

The oil firm executed a 30 centavos increase in the prices of its premium gasoline Blaze 100, XCS and Xtra.

“Week-on-week, Dubai crude price decreased more than a dollar, and diesel, slightly by only about $0.10 per barrel,” the Department of Energy (DOE) uttered.

“On the contrary, gasoline increased by more than a dollar compared to the previous week,” it added.

Mr. Arnel Ty the president of the LPG Marketers’ Association (LPGMA) said that the P2 rollback in LPGs’ price converts to a P22 price saving for every 11 kilogram cylinder of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

Arnel Ty, president of the LPG Marketers’ Association (LPGMA), said the P2 rollback in LPG price translates to a P22 price reduction for every 11-kg cylinder of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

A week ago, numerous oil companies excised the selling prices of LPG because of lower contract prices in the international market.

Last April 1, Petron Corporation marked down its LPG price by P9.52 per kilogram; Liquigaz by P9 per kilogram; Pryce Gases by P5.50 per kilogram; Petronas Gas by P8.51 per kilogram and Total Philippines by P9.52 per kilogram.

The contract price for LPG slipped to $993 per metric ton from a record-high $1,195 per metric ton in March, a data from DOE.

As early as March, members of LPGMA decreased for a number of times, the price of LPG by P1 per kilogram. LPGMA lists Island Gas, Regasco Gas, Pinnacle Gas, Cat Gas, M-Gas, Omni Gas and Nation Gas as members.

Under the Downstream Oil Industry Deregulation Act of 1998, oil firms can price their products based on market forces so as to encourage competition. The deregulation law prohibits the government from interfering or influencing the pricing schemes of oil companies.

The DOE, though, requested oil firms to report to the department any price changes before its execution.

DENR vows tight watch over P6.2-B Bicol coal project

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Tuesday vowed to scrutinize the controversial P6.2-billion coal mining project in Catanduanes province in the Bicol Region.

In a radio interview, Environment Secretary Jose “Lito” Atienza Jr. said the project still needs DENR clearance even if the Department of Energy (DOE) might have cleared the venture.

“Hindi pa dumadaan sa tanggapan ko ito, ‘di ko alam ang nature ng coal project at ‘di pa ito kumukuha ng environmental clearance (This has not passed through my office. I do not know the nature of this coal project. It has not obtained DENR’s environment clearance),” Atienza said in an interview on dzXL radio.

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‘LPG supply has normalized’

MANILA, Philippines – Read my lips: There is enough supply of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes insisted yesterday.

Since December, consumers have been complaining of an LPG shortage, which Reyes had at first denied and subsequently said that supply had normalized, despite the long lines and empty shelves at retail outlets.

But after yesterday’s Cabinet meeting where the LPG shortage was raised, Reyes announced the supply of LPG has already reached the outlets and that “there’s no reason for us to worry.”

Reyes admitted that the President was concerned about the LPG supply situation, which has led to a torrent of angry complaints from consumers all over the country. [Read full article...]

Shell raises LPG price by P4/kilogram

Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. jacked up yesterday the price of its liquefied petroleum gas products by P4 per kilo or P44 per 11-kilogram LPG cylinder.

Shell spokesman Roberto Kanapi said the price adjustment was due to the higher acquisition cost of the latest LPG imports.

The militant Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) criticized the government for its inability to resolve the LPG shortage.

“The latest LPG price increase of P4 per kilo highlights the utter failure of the DOE to protect consumers,” Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes said.

He stressed “the de facto price ceiling it imposed is meaningless since prices are deregulated anyway.”

“The campaign against hoarders would not amount to much unless the cartel or Big 3 which control 92 percent of the LPG market is also probed for their role in the alleged shortage,” Reyes said.

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