Malampaya set for mo-long shutdown

By Iris C. Gonzales, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jul 08 2014 07:36 AM | Updated as of Jul 08 2014 03:36 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Malampaya deep-water-to-gas power facility in Palawan is going on another month-long maintenance shutdown next year, Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said yesterday.

He said while there is no final schedule yet, the shutdown would likely be from March to April 2015.

The consortium behind the Malampaya project is scheduled to shut down the facility as part of its preparations for the third phase of its expansion program.

“They are doing preparations for Phase 3. They will be installing Platform 3,” Petilla said.

As a result, he said the power situation in the summer months next year will be tight.

However, he said the Department of Energy is already looking at various options to help prevent a repeat of the situation last December when the power generation charge rose to a record P9.10 per kilowatt-hour from only P5.67 per kwh given tight supply because of the Malampaya maintenance shutdown.

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For one, he said he would be looking into the legal implications of suspending the Biofuel Act of 2006 for the Ilijan natural gas power plant, which will be affected by the Malampaya shutdown because it sources its power from the facility.

“I still need to look at my options,” Petilla said.

He said if the Biofuels Act would be suspended, one unit of the Ilijan plant would be able to generate 600 megawatts (MW) on the alternate option, which is the use of diesel oil.