By Myrna M. Velasco
On next month’s four-day scheduled maintenance shutdown of the Malampaya gas production facility, the Department of Energy (DOE) is assuring consumers that it has contingency measures in place to avoid unwarranted power supply interruptions.
DOE Director Mario C. Marasigan indicated that collaboration processes had already been sorted out with system operator National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) as well as with the generation companies that will be affected by the downtime of the gas facility.
As submitted to the energy department, the Malampaya production platform will be undergoing routine maintenance on October 12-15 this year; and the relevant stakeholders had already been informed of this since the start of the year.
Marasigan said the gas-fired generating plants will shift to liquid fuels like diesel for one unit of the Ilijan plant; and condensate for the gas fleets of First Gen. The other 600-megawatt block of the Ilijan plant will be on simultaneous shutdown during Malampaya’s maintenance.
“We already coordinated with NGCP on how we shall handle the situation. The concerned parties – including the generation companies – already have submissions to the DOE on how they will operate during Malampaya’s shutdown period,” the energy official said.
Marasigan added “the situation is not really that critical – because it’s now October and demand is not really that high.”
He qualified that fuel procurements were already done in advance, hence, there are no expectations that this will be affected by the recent incident in Saudi Aramco facilities.
“We are still assessing the impact of the Saudi Aramco incident, but ideally, that should not have impact on costs pass-on for the Malampaya shutdown because the fuel procurements for it had already been part of inventory prior to the incident,” he stressed.