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FPI bats for new power projects.

By Myrna M. Velasco

The Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI), which has 34 industry associations and 120 manufacturing entities under its wing, is prodding relevant government agencies on capacity additions that could ensure the country's reliable and sufficient power supply even beyond the term of the Duterte administration.

The business organization said it is "pushing for the immediate construction of new power plants to secure the country's long-term power requirements," at the same time, cast a strong anchor to the "Build, Build, Build" infrastructure development platform of the sitting leadership.

FPI chiefly pleaded to the Department of Energy (DOE) and Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to lead the way in the next round of power project installations in the country.

It has to be noted that approvals of power projects could be subverted by processes at these two relevant government agencies, hence, the FPI called on all key stakeholders "to work together to ensure that electricity supply and prices will not be an additional burden to consumers."

Amid the controversies the proposed facility had been embroiled in, the FPI made particular pitch for the 1,200-megawatt Atimonan One Energy (A1E) coal fired power project of Meralco Power Gen (MGen), the power generation investment subsidiary of Manila Electric Company.

Arranza said "the Atimonan project is an example of a very significant power project that can ensure supply availability in the future." This particular power plant venture is shovel-ready but it struggles moving to construction phase because its power supply agreement (PSA) had not been approved yet by the ERC.

While noting that industries are already suffering from the brunt of rising inflation, Dr. Jesus L. Arranza noted that at the very least, "we want the power industry to step up and do something, so we can prevent a potential problem on electricity supply."

He opined that "building more power plants and bringing in more supply to the market can bring down power prices."

The business group further raised concerns that since "most of the power plants in the Philippines are ageing and most of them are already 15 years old or older," such renders them more susceptible to forced outages, hence, triggering tightness and even shortage of supply in the system at times.

Arranza illustrated that in the coconut industry in particular, "where crushing of copra requires great degree of power, the completion of this additional power plant in the aforesaid coconut region will certainly encourage investment."

He stressed that setting up oil refining plants are often "hampered by lack of adequate power which is indispensable for (their) efficient operations."


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Title Annotation:Business News
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:Oct 10, 2018
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