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Power supply remains a challenge for Philippines

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Indonesia’s 20 percent electricity supply buffer is now on a scarce mode, yet the government still trails a challenging path when it comes to attracting investments for new power projects, particularly for supply-buffeted Mindanao grid, reported the Manila Bulletin.

In an updated Philippine Energy Plan (PEP) presented to industry stakeholders last week, the committed capacity additions still present a grim scenario. The government has yet to prove that the dreary appetite for fresh capital infusion would turn out a reversible trend.

In Luzon, for instance, the only committed capacity addition until 2014 is the 600-megawatt coal-fired power facility of GN Power; while Mindanao’s capacity shoring up for the period from committed projects just hovers at 100 megawatts. Visayas is a lot better with some 325.5MW capacity already due for commercial operations until next year.

Apart from the GN Power greenfield capacity for Luzon, the grid counts additional supply from the upgrading of the privatised plants. Factoring in all of that, the grid will still be short by 450MW by 2014, if based on the plan drawn up by the Department of Energy (DoE) since private sector players have different assumptions.

Mindanao, on one hand, needs capacity addition of 500 megawatts from 2010 to 2014 at the following increments: 50MW by 2010; 50MW in 2011; 200MW in 2012; 100 MW in 2013 and 100MW in 2014.

Pricing signal concerns, relative to the traditional cheaper hydro source in the grid, emerged as a major concern for investors.


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