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Petilla: I’ll resign if no power by Christmas

20 Nov

MANILA, Philippines – If power isn\’t restored in Typhoon Yolanda-ravaged areas by Christmas eve, he will resign.

Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla made this promise as he announced they will do all they can to restore power in areas devastated by Yolanda (Haiyan) by December 24.

\”Do you want my position if I don\’t make it by December 24? You will have it…. I\’ll submit my resignation if that is what you want,\” Petilla said during an interview with media in Palo, Leyte on Monday, November 18.

Petilla admitted that December 24 is a \”very, very tight\” target, but he said he\’s betting his position on it so typhoon survivors won\’t have a \”dark Christmas.\”

Petilla was the governor of Leyte before he was appointed to the Cabinet. His brother Dominico is the current governor of the province hardest hit by the super typhoon.

\”The first sign of hope is always electricity. We will persevere to give them that,\” he said in a mix of Filipino and English.

He was quick to \”qualify\” however that the December 24 target doesn\’t cover remote barangays. \”That will add more time.\”

When they first surveyed the damage wrought by Yolanda on power towers and poles in Visayas Saturday, November 9, Petilla shared his initial estimate was full restoration would take about 2 to 6 months.

He said the damage was the worst they\’ve seen so far. \”We targeted, actually, January. But I said, \’no, let\’s try December 24.\’ No ifs.\”

Petilla said he\’s optimistic this is feasible because of several factors.

First, he said highways and roads damaged by the typhoon are now passable. He said materials for repairs are available, and there\’s more than enough manpower to work on the restoration of power lines.

\”When Meralco comes, I expect to have at least 200 people working on this right now. In Bohol, we were able to do it within a week because we had 215 people. Here, if we can muster more… It is actually possible to hit December 24.\”

Based on the latest inspection by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), 566 transmission towers and poles are either leaning or toppled because of the typhoon, while 7 substations are damaged.

NGCP spokesperson Cynthia Perez-Alabanza said on November 13 that fixing the transmission backbone and main lines of the grid in Visayas will take up to 6 weeks.

Yolanda, one of the world\’s strongest typhoons on record, struck several regions in the Philippines on November 8, flattening homes, buildings, and infrastructure. It killed thousands and displaced hundreds of thousands, mostly in Visayas provinces.

As of 6 am Monday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) placed damage from the typhoon at P10.38 billion, while the death toll climbed to 3,976. – Judith Balea/

via Petilla: I’ll resign if no power by Christmas.

DOE calls for oil firms to speed up deliveries

20 Nov

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Energy (DOE) appealed to oil companies on Monday, November 18 to speed up their delivery of fuel supplies to Leyte and Samar.

The DOE hopes faster delivery will prevent price spikes from unauthorized dealings.

DOE Director Zenaida Monsada said at a press conference that the DOE wants “the fuel supply to get back to normal as fast as we can in order to avoid the sale of ‘bote-bote’ which are sold at very high prices.\”

Latest DOE data showed only 83 of 128 gas stations of Petron, Shell, and Caltex are operational in Leyte and Samar.

In Leyte, 42 Petron stations, 12 Shell stations, and 1 Caltex station are working. Eighteen Petron stations, 7 Shell sations and 3 Caltex stations are operational in Samar. Current numbers do not include independent oil firm data.

Fuel supplies are expected to normalize this month, according to Monsada.

Monsada added that DOE Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla also issued a memorandum to oil firms to remind them of the guidelines for business operations during calamities.

Oil firms are asked to limit sales to two liters per person during the rationing period. Users with working vehicles are allowed to fill up their tanks. The rationing is meant to stretch the availability of fuel in Leyte and Samar.

While petroleum product prices are expected to rise this week, Monsada said oil firms can choose to hold back on planned price increases.

Monsada also admitted that the agency could do little against unofficial fuel sellers, noting that “the DOE and the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) will look into the reports of overpriced fuel.”

The Philippine government can only introduce price caps for kerosene and LPG tanks, but not gasoline or diesel fuel during calamities.

\”Thus, we appeal to the oil firms to get back their fuel supply as soon as possible,” Monsada said. –

via DOE calls for oil firms to speed up deliveries.

Luzon energy supply at risk, says Department of Energy

15 Nov

ROTATING brownouts similar to Visayas and Mindanao might be common scenario if the needed power plants to augment growing power demands in Luzon are not built by 2015.

This came as the Department of Energy revealed it is having a hard time convincing local governments and communities to host and endorse the development of power plants even if these are renewable sources of energy.

Department of Energy-Luzon Director Efren Balaoing said local governments only react when they experience rotating blackouts but lack the foresight to at least endorse energy potentials and help investors develop power plants in their area.

Another pressing problem raised by the DoE official is the difficulty of these power plants in attaining social acceptability among communities such as the ones in the Cordillera region when a wind farm in between Sagada and Besao, Mountain Province was opposed by the local community.

The Philippines has a total demand for power by 11,400 megawatts by 2030 with the bulk of the unprecedented demand coming from Luzon as it is a major player in the 4.7 percent growth of the Gross Domestic Product.

The Luzon grid has a projected demand for power by as much as 8,100 megawatts until 2030 but he said the 343 power contracts awarded by the DoE only has an accumulated capacity of 5,600 megawatts.

Visayas grid, which is already connected to the Luzon grid, has a demand of 1,600 megawatts while Mindanao has a demand projected at 1,700 by 2030.

He emphasized the immediate need by 2015 as power plants take at least three years before a power plant is commissioned and fully operational.

While the Visayas and Luzon grids are interconnected, he said the Luzon grid cannot rely on the Visayas grid to augment its unparalleled demand for power citing the central Philippines’ growing problems on addressing the needs of consumers.

However, the DOE official is optimistic local governments and investors now see the immediate need for additional sources of power after a growing acceptance for renewable power has been observed in Luzon.

The DOE Luzon director stressed not everything seems grim on the power outlook of the region. Power plants are in the pipeline and are ready to be commissioned in the next few years barring any delays in development and construction, he reported.

He said a 600 megawatt power plant by GN Power Ltd. was recently commissioned, a big help in augmenting the needs of the Luzon Grid and being transmitted to distribution utilities by the National Grid Corporation. Other geothermal plants are also in the pipeline in Laguna.

In the Cordillera region, among the greatest help are the 42 contracts recently awarded by the DOE to harness the potential of the region’s major rivers for at least 600 megawatts of power while some six geothermal power contracts in Mountain Province and Kalinga are also able to promise some 360 megawatts of power.

Wind power is also seen as another potential being developed in Burgos and Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, Cagayan province and in Pililia, Rizal. Other renewable resources being tapped are bio-mass plants in Isabela and Central Luzon where animal manure producing methane is turned into energy.

But he said more has to be done by local governments to encourage investors stressing the current awarded contracts are not enough to cover the needs until 2030.

He encouraged the use of solar power as an immediate solution once investors are welcomed by local governments although these cost more than hydroelectric plants.

He said the DOE continues to advocate renewable energy sources in the country as rising prices of fossil fuels have a domino effect on power rates in the country.

via Luzon energy supply at risk, says Department of Energy | Sun.Star.

Mindanao electric co-ops to help fix power lines in Leyte, Samar

15 Nov

SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/13 November) – As they did last year after super typhoon Pablo, the 33-member Association of Mindanao Rural Electric Cooperatives (AMRECO) is deploying linemen and equipment to help fast-track the restoration of power lines in Leyte and Samar which were devastated by Typhoon Yolanda on November 8.

Engr. Sergio C. Dagooc, general manager of Dinagat Islands Electric Cooperative Inc., and Siargao Electric Cooperative and concurrent President of AMRECO, said Mindanao’s 33 electric cooperatives have formed AMRECO Task Force Kapatid  which will leave Lipata Port here for Leyte and Samar on Friday.

He said they were a bit delayed as they also had to attend to the needs of Yolanda-affected areas in Mindanao – in  Dinagat Islands province, Siargao and Bucas Grande in Surigao del Norte.

But Dagooc added that while they were working to restore power in the three islands, he was also busy communicating with AMRECO members to help Leyte and Samar.

Last year, AMRECO members from near and far were seen fixing power lines in Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley and Agusan del Sur, after super typhoon Pablo toppled  down power lines when it made landfall in Baganga, Davao Oriental on December 4, 2012. (Roel Catoto / MindaNews)

via Mindanao electric co-ops to help fix power lines in Leyte, Samar | MindaNews.

First Gen takes delivery of new transformer for San Lorenzo plant

12 Nov

 MANILA – First Gen Corp has acquired a new transformer for the company’s San Lorenzo natural gas-fired power plant in Batangas City.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, First Gen said the San Lorenzo plant’s 150-ton replacement transformer was delivered to the country on board the world’s largest aircraft, the Antonov 225. The transformer was loaded in Zagreb, Croatio, left last Sunday and arrived at the Mactan Cebu International Airport early this morning.

The delivery marked the first time that the Russian aircraft landed in the Philippines. The equipment is also the heaviest cargo delivered by air to the country.

First Gen considered all available airports that could land safely the Antonov 225. After considering the combination of airport, onward land transport and sea freight, Mactan airport was the most viable option, it said.

First Gen said wholly-owned subsidiary FGP Corp will install the transformer in the San Lorenzo plant “to ensure both sufficient power supply and stability of the Luzon grid.”

The transformer replaces a similar equipment that caught fire a few months ago and brought down the San Lorenzo plant’s capacity from 500 megawatts (MW) to 250 MW.

In light of this, First Gen tapped the help of an international team to speed up the delivery of the new transformer.

“Instead of the typical 12 months manufacturing time for this size of transformer, Siemens Knocar manufactured the transformer in just four months. Flying in the transformer to the Philippines saves a further five to seven weeks of transport time, compared to the option of transporting it by sea,” First Gen said.

NPC/PSALM’s Power Barge 103 in ILOILO Swept Aground by Yolanda: Oil Spill Clean-up Operation On-going

12 Nov

Power Barge 103 operated and maintained by the National Power Corporation (NPC) for and in behalf of the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management(PSALM) Corporation and which was moored at Estancia, Iloilo was dislocated from its mooring site and swept aground as a result of very strong winds and the storm surge brought about by supertyphoon “Yolanda”. The power barge, which is a semi-permanent floatingstructure composed of four (4) generating units having a rated capacity of eight (8) megawatts each, supplies power and necessary ancillary services to the Visayas Grid.


PB103 is virtually locked in its floating position by six (6) concrete mooring fenders and four (4) heavy chains attached to two (2) concrete mooring bollards. The severity and force of Yolanda’s strong windsaccompanying by a storm surge caused the power barge tobreak free of its mooring structures and finally rested aground 250 meters from its original position.



The power barge sustained damage to its hull which also serves as storage for its fuel requirements. As a result, an estimated 200,000 liters of bunker fuel has leaked out of the fuel tanks into the water and coastline. NPC’s Environmental Management Department is closely coordinating with the Coast Guard for the necessary clean-up operations. Power Barge 103 Management, with the assistance of their counterparts in Power Barges 101 and 102 located in Iloilo City, are on site to address the fuel leak and assist in the clean-up. Representatives from Power Barge 104 in Davao will also be travelling to Estancia to assist in said operations. Meanwhile, PSALM has coordinated with its fuel supplier, Petron Corporation, to siphon off the remaining fuel in the tanks to prevent further leakage.


NPC has been asked why the company did not move nor relocate Power Barge 103 after the warnings were issued on the super typhoon. It is because the power barge is not intended to be moved around on short notice and is positioned at a particular site for extended periods. In fact, Power Barge 103 has been in the same location since it was positioned there in November 1999. Moving a power barge is only done when the generating capacity is needed elsewhere and when there is an alternative mooring site prepared specifically for the power barge to be relocated. NPC also informed that, even assuming there was an alternative mooring site for Power Barge 103, at least two (2) tugboats are needed to transfer the barge elsewhere as the structure is not self-propelled. Procuring the services of these tugboats and effecting the actual transfer would not have been possible with the amount of time available to NPC from the time the first typhoon warnings were issued.

PSALM names highest bidders for Leyte geothermal output

11 Nov

The Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) Corporation has successfully selected and appointed the Independent Power Producer Administrators (IPPAs) for the Unified Leyte Geothermal Power Plant (ULGPP).

The bidding for the IPPA contracts for the strips of energy and bulk energy of the contacted capacities of the ULGPPP was held last week.

PSALM declared seven highest ranking bidders for the IPPAs for the strips of energy (IPPA-Strips) portion of the contacted capacities in the ULGPP:

• 40 MW or 40 strips of energy to FDC Utilities, Inc. (FDCUI), which offered a generation payment of P5.2588 per kilowatt-hour (kWh);

• 40 MW to Unified Leyte Geothermal Energy Inc. (ULGEI), which bid at P5.2100/kWh;

• 40 MW to Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corporation, which bid at P5.0166/kWh;

• 40 MW to Aboitiz Energy Solutions, Inc., which bid at P4.9188 per kWh;

• three (3) MW to Waterfront Mactan Casino Hotel Inc., which bid at P4.9000/kWh;

• 20 MW to Good Friends Hydro Resources Corporation, which bid at P4.8800/kWh; and

• 17 MW to Vivant Energy Corporation, which bid at P4.6629/kWh.

PSALM noted that ll the highest ranking bids for the 200 strips of energy exceeded the reserve price that was set by the PSALM Board.

It added that following the bidding results, Vivant’s P4.6629/kWh offer – the bid price for the 200th strip of energy – is the winning price for the ULGPP IPPA-Strips.

“As stipulated in the Bidding Procedures, the winning price, which is the uniform generation payment that will be adopted by all the winning bidders in the ULGPP IPPA-Strips, will either be the winning bid price for the 200th strip of energy or, if there will be less than 200 strips, the winning price closest to the Reserve Price,” PSALM president Emmanuel R. Ledesma Jr. explained.

Ledesma noted that the highest ranking bidders will still have to undergo and pass the post-qualification stage before being declared as winning bidders.

“The PSALM Privatization, Bids Awards Committee (PBAC) will conduct post-qualification on the highest ranking bidders to determine the accuracy, authenticity and completeness of all their documentary submissions, including the standby letters of credit and their full compliance with the Bidding Procedures,” he said.

PSALM also declared ULGEI as the highest among three bidders that participated and tendered bids for the ULGPP IPPA for Bulk Energy.

ULGEI tendered a bid of P215 million for the ULGPP IPPA for Bulk Energy, and is the only bid that met the Reserve Price set by the PSALM Board. The other two bidders, which did not meet the Reserve Price, are Trans-Asia and Aboitiz Renewables, Inc.

ULGEI will likewise undergo post-qualification stage before being declared as the winning bidder to determine the accuracy, authenticity and completeness of all their documentary submissions, including the standby letter of credit and their full compliance with the Bidding Procedures, PSALM noted.

via PSALM names highest bidders for Leyte geothermal output | Manila Bulletin | Latest Breaking News | News Philippines.

PSALM names top bidders in Unified Leyte auction

11 Nov

State-owned Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) said it successfully bidded out rights to the bulk and “strips” (small-sized) of energy output from the 588.5-megawatt Unified Leyte Geothermal Power Plant (ULGPP) in Tongonan, Leyte.

Unified Leyte Geothermal Energy Inc. (ULGEI) submitted the highest bid among three prospective Independent Power Producer Administrators (IPPAs) that vied for the bulk energy allotment of ULGPP’s output capacity, according to PSALM.

The other two were Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corp. and Aboitiz Renewables Inc.

ULGEI offered P215 million and was the only one that met the reserve price set by PSALM. As such, PSALM said, it would be tasked to trade ULGPP’s total output (bulk and sum of strips) and will have the right to tap the power facility’s capacity in excess of 240 megawatts.

ULGPP is composed of the 125-megawatt Upper Mahiao, 232.5-megawatt Malitbog, and 180-megawatt Mahanagdong power plants, and 51-megawatt optimization plants. ULGPP is covered by power purchase agreements between the National Power Corp. and Energy Development Corp.

PSALM also said that 200 megawatts, or 200 “strips” of energy, were auctioned off in such a way that an IPPA could win the rights to strips of energy ranging from 1 megawatt up to a maximum of 40 megawatts. PSALM retained 40 megawatts as “security capacity.” The tenders were conducted on Nov. 7 and 8.

The highest bidders for the strips were FDC Utilities Inc., which offered a generation payment of P5.2588 per kilowatt/hour and got 40 megawatts; ULGEI, with P5.21 per kilowatt/hour and got 40 megawatts; Trans-Asia, with P5.0166 per kilowatt/hour and got 40 megawatts; Aboitiz Energy Solutions, Inc., which bid P4.9188 per kilowatt/hour and got 40 megawatts; Waterfront Mactan Casino Hotel Inc., which bid P4.90 per kilowatt/hour and got 3 megawatts; Good Friends Hydro Resources Corp., which bid P4.88 per kilowatt/hour and got 20 megawatts; and Vivant Energy Corp., which bid P4.6629 per kilowatt/hour and got 17 megawatts (including the last 1-megawatt allotment referred to as the 200th “strip” of energy).

via PSALM names top bidders in Unified Leyte auction | Inquirer Business.

Meralco, partners buy Nigerian firms

11 Nov

Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) and its partners in Nigeria have taken over two privatized utility firms in the African country, expanding the Philippine firm’s foreign footprint.

“Nov. 1, I believe, was the turnover date,” Meralco chair Manuel V. Pangilinan said. He said the Meralco group sent two teams in October ahead of the formal turnover.

The Philippines’ top power distributor and its strategic partner, Lagos-based Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Ltd., are part of a consortium that bagged deals to take over two firms privatized by the Federal Republic of Nigeria: Ibadan Electricity Distribution Co. Plc. and Yola Electricity Distribution Co. Plc.

Meralco president Oscar Reyes had said that the company was participating in the power privatization project mainly to gain international exposure, although the company would also earn from fees as the technical partner.

Earlier, Meralco and its controlling stockholder First Pacific Co. Ltd. of Hong Kong sealed a $488-million deal to acquire a 70-percent stake in a liquefied natural gas (LNG)-fired power plant in Singapore. Elsewhere, First Pacific is also seeking opportunities in such markets as Myanmar.

On power generation, the Meralco group, through subsidiary Meralco PowerGen Corp. (MGen), is expanding its holdings to 3,000 MW of generation capacity up by 2020.

Asked about MGen’s build-up, Pangilinan said: “We’re doing our best to invest in more plants here (in the Philippines), in either existing or brownfield plants or even greenfield (new) plants.” MGen might tap coal and gas technologies, Pangilinan said.

MGen’s recent moves to power up on generation had it partnering with Global Business Power Corp., one of the biggest independent power producers in the Visayas, for projects in Mindanao.

MGen is also studying tie-ups with Chubu Electric of Japan and Shell of Europe. Depending on demand growth from power customers and the Department of Energy’s master plan for the natural gas sector (due in end-2013), MGen will decide which partnership to prioritize, Angelito U. Lantin, MGen senior vice president for commercial development, said in a text message.

MGen and Chubu Electric are jointly studying prospects for a 1,500-megawatt (MW) liquefied natural gas (LNG) power plant in Atimonan, Quezon. MGen and Shell are considering forging an LNG supply partnership for a 1,200 MW natural gas-fired power plant in Batangas province. A 2018 opening is possible for both plants.

via Meralco, partners buy Nigerian firms | Inquirer Business.

Repairs at Malampaya natural gas platform put off for a few days because of ‘Yolanda’

8 Nov

MANILA – The Malampaya consortium has pushed back the maintenance work on the country\’s primary natural gas producer due to the passage of Typhoon Yolanda.

In a statement, the Department of Energy (DOE) said repairs on the Malampaya natural gas platform will be moved two days later than scheduled.

\”Based on the information relayed by the Malampaya consortium, they took into consideration the safety of the people who will be working offshore as the said typhoon approaches,\” DOE said.

Maintenance work on Malampaya has been moved to November 11 and is expected to last until December 10.  Repairs were supposed to begin November 9 and last until December 9.

In light of the coming maintenance of the Malampaya platform, the DOE called on all consumers to practice energy efficiency measures to help mitigate the impact on power supply and electricity prices in Luzon.

The Malampaya platform in offshore Northwest Palawan provides natural gas to the 1,200-megawatt Ilijan combined cycle natural gas plant owned by Kepco Philippines Corp, as well as to the 1000-megawatt Sta. Rita and 500-megawatt San Lorenzo natural gas facilities of First Gen Corp.

The Ilijan, Sta. Rita, and San Lorenzo power plants combined provide about 40 percent of Luzon\’s electricity requirements.

In the absence of the Malampaya fuel, these power plants will run on more expensive liquid condensate in order to provide sufficient electricity.

via Repairs at Malampaya natural gas platform put off for a few days because of ‘Yolanda’ –