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Rehabilitated power plant to reopen soon – Aquino

By: - Reporter / @TarraINQ
/ 02:58 PM November 19, 2014
Benigno Aquino

President Benigno Aquino III. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

SINGAPORE—A newly rehabilitated power plant is to come on stream soon to forestall an expected 400-megawatt power shortage in Luzon early next year, President Benigno Aquino III said here Tuesday.

The President gave no details—admittedly for reasons of superstition—but disclosed the facility’s impending reopening when asked about the approval by a committee of the House of Representatives of draft resolution granting him emergency powers to contract additional generating capacity to prevent outages in the Luzon grid.

“We might jinx it but… a newly reconstituted generating [plant] may go online soon. That means [the facility] has been completed and then rehabilitated,” Aquino said.

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The government aims to open the facility by March, the President said. Projections showed a possible shortfall in power supply for Luzon from the 12th of the same month to July 2015 due to the Malampaya natural gas pipeline shutdown, powerplant outages and delays in the activation of new power-generating facilities.

He was careful not to give more clues about which facility he mentioned and apologized for withholding details.

“Sorry, but I just have a bit of superstition; we might jinx it and instead of it going online in June, we might move to July.… Our target is March, but if we jinx it, that might become August,” said the President.

Aquino has yet to be briefed about details of the resolution that the House energy committee passed on Monday, but thanked the body for the resolution, which still has to go through plenary debate.

The President cited several initiatives to regulate power consumption and conserve energy to help prevent the predicted shortage, including limiting levels of air-conditioning in government buildings to no cooler than 25 degrees Celsius.

The government has also distributed “millions of units” of higher efficiency light bulbs to replace high-consuming types.

Aquino said the so-called Interruptible Load Program (ILP) remains to be among the options. Under the scheme, consumers who agree to have their supply cut or reduced during peak consumption periods or emergencies would instead activate their generator sets at costs to be reimbursed by the government.

“At first, the commitments came in slow… but lately, it looks like they (private sector) are really trying to give as much as they can in case it (shortfall) happens,” said the President.

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