Monday, March 19, 2018

DMCI unit boosts generation capacity

Philippine Daily Inquirer / 05:16 AM March 19, 2018

Consunji unit DMCI Power Corp. (DPC) is investing around P160 million to acquire 11.2 megawatts (MW) of additional capacity to serve “missionary” areas in Masbate and Palawan.
This will involve the purchase of seven new diesel generating sets, which in turn will boost DPC’s generation capacity in the two provinces by 14 percent to 90 MW compared to last year’s level.
“We are expecting a significant increase in power demand in our host provinces this year. We want to ensure that DPC will have reliable power generators to supply our consumers with continuous, sufficient and dependable electricity,” DPC president Nestor Dadivas said in a press statement.
Missionary areas refer to areas that are not connected to the transmission system or main grid.
These are usually the far-flung, remote and unviable areas.
DPC was established in 2006 to provide sufficient and reliable electricity to these missionary areas.
DPC’s total energy sales last year increased by 4 percent from 237.85 GWh to 247.06 GWh. —DORIS DUMLAO-ABADILLA

LNG terminal project attracts interest from 6-7 potential bidders

UP to seven companies have signified their intention to participate in the plan of the Department of Energy (DoE) to build a terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG) under its recently issued guidelines.
“I think the last count was six or seven,” DoE Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi told reporters, adding that the interested entities have simply expressed their intent or interest in pursuing the integrated LNG terminal project.
He did not identify whether the companies are local, foreign or a consortium of both, and that none had submitted a formal proposal yet.
A source at the DoE’s Oil Industry Management Bureau confirmed that seven companies had separate “pre-conference” meetings with the office and two more are scheduled to have theirs in the coming days.
Mr. Cusi has said that he wanted an integrated LNG terminal to be built during the Duterte administration’s term to help boost energy security for the country. The terminal will allow the importation of natural gas, condensed in liquid form for portability, and a facility that will allow its regasification.
Plans call for a pipeline for the distribution of the fuel to other parts of the country, and the construction of a power plant.
“PNOC (Philippine National Oil Co.) is also aspiring to be the natural gas terminal operator, and PNOC is looking for a partner,” Mr. Cusi said, referring to the DoE’s commercial arm.
He said about 30 groups had expressed interest in partnering with PNOC, which is now evaluating the proposals from a shortlist of five entities, among them South Korean, Chinese and Japanese proponents and a consortium of other groups, including one with Russian interest.
The Asian Development Bank has been chosen as the project advisory institution, he added.
“Based on the PNGR (Philippine Natural Gas Regulation) anyone who has the qualifications can participate but there will be one that will be allowed to put [up] that terminal, be it a consortium or single company,” he said.
He said PNOC would like to be the operator of the terminal, but it needs a partner with technical and commercial expertise to do so. Once the state commercial company finds a partner, it will submit its proposal to the DoE, just like the others that expressed their intent to participate.
“PNOC will be like the others, and DoE will evaluate the project,” Mr. Cusi said. “PNOC, as a government corporation, is looking at that as a business. So PNOC will be competing [with the others].”
He said PNOC’s advantage over the others is its franchise for the gas pipelines. He said he was still looking at June 2018 to break ground on the LNG project.

Solar Philippines to replicate micro-grid project in Mindoro

Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) - March 19, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Solar Philippines is set to replicate its recently completed solar-battery micro-grid project in Mindoro – touted to be the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia – to provide electricity supply in other off-grid areas across the country.
The company has completed its first solar-battery micro-grid the project in Paluan, Mindoro. It has two megawatts (MW) of solar panels, 2 MWh of batteries, and 2 MW of diesel backup, providing reliable power 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The project uses panels from the Solar Philippines factory in Batangas, and is also the first micro-grid in Asia to feature powerpacks from Tesla – a leading manufacturer of batteries and electric vehicles.
Solar Philippines said power is being provided to Paluan at 50 percent lower cost than what is provided by state-run National Power Corp. (Napocor), which spends up to P20 billion a year from the Universal Charge for Missionary Electrification subsidy which is shouldered by all consumers.
With Napocor, the town of Paluan used to consume subsidies of over P30 million a year but will now be subsidy-free with the new micro-grid project, the company said.
Once dubbed the “Brownout Capital of the Philippines,” Mindoro is only one of many regions, including Southern Luzon, Northern Luzon, Western Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Western Mindanao, and Southern Mindanao, where extended outages occur.
According to Mayor Carl Pangilinan, Paluan first received four hours of daily service in 1978 from the Occidental Mindoro Electric Cooperative (Omeco), which later waived its franchise given its difficulties in serving the town.
In 2014, Napocor resumed service, for an average of 16 hours a day, with outages sometimes lasting several days.
“We see ourselves as partners in developing Paluan into a first-class municipality in the coming years. While other companies seek to charge the highest rates possible, we believe that offering quality service at the lowest cost is win-win, helping the areas we serve and growing the market over the long-term,” Solar Philippines founder Leandro Leviste said.