SMC unit saves on fuel, assures power supply

Published March 24, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Myrna M. Velasco

SMC Global Power Holdings Corp., the power investment arm of San Miguel Corporation (SMC), opts to save on fuel for its electric generating facilities, yet despite that, it guaranteed that there would be ample power supply in the country within the stretch of month-long lockdown enforced for Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon.

SMC president Ramon S. Ang
SMC president Ramon S. Ang

SMC President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon S. Ang indicated that given the slowdown in economic activity, “power facilities will have to scale down production to save on fuel and further secure supply for the next coming months.”

He had given utmost assurance though that “there is sufficient power to supply the requirements of the country for the duration of the enhanced community quarantine.”

Ang stressed “we will continue to operate all our power facilities safely despite the challenges we face and make sure that we supply power where it’s needed,” further noting that “we have prepared for these types of situations and we are ready.”

The SMC executive qualified that “while there is no issue with power supply today, it would be prudent for power facilities to save as much fuel to ensure continuous operation.’

For majority of the power generating facilities in the country, their fuel consumption are imported – be it those utilizing coal or liquid fuels. The only exceptions are those catered to by the coal production of the Semirara mines in Antique; and the gas plants served by the output of the Malampaya field in Palawan.

Ang emphasized “the Covid-19 crisis is a worldwide issue, and while we all hope for a resolution soon, it’s better if are prepared if it extends.”
He opined “if there is excess capacity today, particularly since major businesses 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.”

SMC Global Power is the biggest power producer in the country to-date, with its generating fleets ranging from coal to gas and hydropower facilities – with bulk of its operations in Luzon; and the rest in Mindanao grid.
“As far as our facilities are concerned, we can assure sufficient and uninterrupted capacity supplied to the Luzon and Mindanao grids,” Ang noted.