Petilla: Luzon, Visayas will have enough power supply in 2014

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 07 2014 12:11 PM | Updated as of Jan 07 2014 08:11 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla again assured the public that there will be enough power supply in Luzon and Visayas in 2014 amid concerns of massive blackouts stemming from the dispute on high power rates.

“For 2014, based on the outlook that we did late last year, we should be OK, we have enough power in Luzon and Visayas,” Petilla told ANC.

He said that while rotating brownouts occurred in the Visayas region in the aftermath of typhoon “Yolanda” due to the damage to 520-megawatt geothermal plants of the Energy Development Corporation (EDC), supply will be sufficient come summer season.

“Based on the way things are moving, I don’t expect any problems in the Visayas this coming summer.”

Petilla noted that the EDC surpassed its 135-megawatt target in restoring its plants and is now running on 219 megawatts.

“They are fast tracking, the original estimate was that it was going to take them a year to fully restore,” he said.

Petilla said no blackouts are expected because the demand in the typhoon-hit areas also went down.

Tacloban, for example, is running at only 2 megawatts of power from its original demand of 45 megawatts.

Petilla also said power has been restored in over 300 municipalities in the Visayas which lost power at the height of the typhoon.

He, however, warned that the public should always keep a close eye on power supply.

"We should always worry about supply. Ang tinitignan ko palagi, while we worry about prices, I put more focus on supply because the most expensive electricity is no electricity," he said.

The Malampaya gas facility, meanwhile, again experienced technical problems on Saturday, but Petilla said he does not expect the unscheduled shutdown to cause a spike in energy prices.

He said the plant should be up and running by Thursday.

To address the power shortage problem in Mindanao, Petilla said coal plants running on 500 megawatts are expected to be operational by 2015.

“In 2015, there will be power plants that will be coming online, these are coal plants. So that should address the gap that you have right now,” he said.