San Miguel asks gov't to allow power plants to 'scale down' production to save on fuel


Posted at Mar 23 2020 06:14 PM

Line-men work on cleaning the powerlines that straddles the Tagaytay ridge overlooking the Taal lake in Batangas on January 27, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - San Miguel Corp appealed on Monday to the government to allow power plants to "scale down" power production so that they can save on fuel as Luzon enters its second week of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

San Miguel president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang said that while there was sufficient power supply, it would be better for power facilities to save on fuel and further secure supply for the coming months.

"The COVID-19 crisis is a worldwide issue, and while we all hope for a resolution soon, it’s better if we are prepared if it extends. If there is excess capacity today, particularly since major business and commercial centers and industries are practically shut down, then perhaps government can require power plants to only produce what is needed in order to save on fuel,” Ang said.

Ang heads SMC Global Power Holdings Corp, with power generation facilities in Bataan, Bulacan, Zambales, and Davao Occidental. 

“As far as our facilities are concerned, we can assure sufficient and uninterrupted capacity supplied to the Luzon and Mindanao grids,” Ang said.

The SMC chief said they have activated their business continuity plan, designed to ensure constant supply, employee safety, and operational reliability.

SMC Global Power has been working with the energy department, the inter-agency task force on infectious diseases, the IATF, local government units, and law enforcement agencies on the movement of critical people and supplies needed for the continuity of its power plant operations. 

The enhanced community quarantine imposed over the whole of Luzon suspends the operation of business establishments, except for those delivering essential goods and services.