nCoV to stall license renewals of power plants

Published February 6, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin


The novel coronavirus (nCoV) will be affecting the renewal and processing of application of certificates of compliance (COCs) or the operating licenses of 59 on-grid and 27 off-grid power plants with aggregate capacity 7,756.93 megawatts.

Nevertheless, Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Chairperson Agnes T. Devanadera assured that the operations of these power-generating facilities will not be disrupted despite the health threats being posed by the nCoV.

She said the 59 plants to be affected on their COC renewals are of total capacity of 7,673 megawatts – and the biggest of these are the: 1,200MW Ilijan gas-fired plant; the 600MW Sem-Calaca coal-fired plant; 600MW Masinloc plant; 500MW San Buenaventura power facility; and the 360MW Magat hydropower plant.

For the 27 off-grid facilities of which COC renewals would likely be delayed, the total capacity had been placed at 83.93MW, according to the ERC.

“Because of the coronavirus, we can at our level, defer the inspection to a better time. But it does not mean that these plants will not be able to go on-line considering the acute supply,” the ERC chief stressed.

Devanadera noted that “safety first” is being strictly adhered to by the Commission in the deployment of people that will be conducting inspections at power plants that have already filed applications for renewal of their COCs.

She qualified that deferment of facility inspections will likely be enforced throughout the first quarter of this year given the uncertainties that the global coronavirus epidemic have been getting its way on.

“So now we can see that the coronavirus is affecting our operations – especially movement of people,” Devanadera said, with her emphasizing that their concerns generally delve on their employees’ exposure at airports and airplane travels.

Beyond the COC applications of power plants, the ERC chief told reporters that the regulatory body also cancelled the participation of some of their employees to a scheduled cyber security training in Singapore within the quarter.

Further, she indicated that their public hearings on tariff-setting may also be eventually affected especially if they will be holding these on-site – meaning, undertaking the hearings at the service area of the concerned power utilities.