Thursday, March 31, 2011
By Mindanews | Thursday| March 31, 2011
DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/30 March) – As Davao City is still in a quandary whether to approve or not the construction of a giant coal-fired power plant within its boundaries, neighboring Sta. Cruz town in Davao del Sur have no second thoughts in allowing Aboitiz Power Corp. to construct a small part of the plant.
Of the 51 hectares needed for the proposed P25-billion 300-megawatt power plant, the main generating unit will be in the Davao City-side, while only the warehouse and storage facilities will be built in Barangay Inawayan of Sta. Cruz, occupying 17 hectares.
Municipal Councilor Alan B. Angub said they approved the project because it would not pose risks to Sta. Cruz residents as the emissions will be in Barangay Binugao of Davao City.
“After conducting public consultations and committee hearings, the council decided to favorably endorse the project,” the councilor added.
The committees on health, trade and industry, energy, transportation and communication and environment and natural resources of Davao City, meantime, are busy mulling over the proposal.
Angub said the endorsement was contained in a resolution passed by the majority of the members of the municipal council.
The municipality of Sta. Cruz, he said, also welcomes the project since it would mean more employment for local residents and more income for the town courtesy of taxes from the power firm.
Aboitiz Power explained that the area in Sta. Cruz is intended for the port and storage facilities that would house the unused coal. The approval from the local government unit was among the requirements by the national regulatory agencies to pursue the project.
Manuel M. Orig, Aboitiz Power’s first vice president in Mindanao, said the firm is honored to receive Sta. Cruz’s endorsement.
“We shall continue to fulfill other requirements of national and local government units while explaining to the public the benefits of our clean coal power plant project,” he said.
In Davao City, the proposed project was met with opposition by anti-coal advocates as they claimed it might pose risks to the public’s health and the environment.
Dr. Romeo F. Quijano, a pharmacology and toxicology professor at the University of the Philippines college of medicine in Manila, said earlier the planned coal plant even has radioactive elements that could pose danger to residents near the project.
But the power firm assured that “no chemical will come in contact with the water. The power plant will not affect our water supply because it is located near the sea and therefore downstream from Davao’s water sources.” (MindaNews)
Posted by wish-witch at 6:47 AM
Posted by wish-witch at 12:02 AM
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
WEDNESDAY, 30 MARCH 2011 21:58
WEDNESDAY, 30 MARCH 2011 21:58
THE determination of the feed-in tariff (FIT) levels will not be a problem as far as finding the right price is concerned, but even so, Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras said on Wednesday, “It seems it will be difficult to meet the deadline [to submit the proposed FIT levels this month’s end] owing to the grid impact study being conducted by the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines [NGCP].”
He pointed out the problem will be the target cap, which will be directly influenced by the NGCP grid impact study. “We are actually pushing for a March 31 deadline, but the Chinese consultants of NGCP said it was impossible for the grid impact study to be done by month’s end and that it will be feasible for it to be done by mid or end-April,” he added.
The grid impact study, according to the energy chief, will tell them how much of each technology can be absorbed into the grid without disrupting the existing system.
Almendras cited China’s experience where they had a few thousand megawatts of wind power that could not be put into the grid because of the problems it naturally entails.
In the Philippines there is a need to thrash out how much renewable energy can be absorbed into the grid in its present state, or in the next two-to-three year period, because that’s the framing of the feed-in tariff.
Almendras said some technologies are less intermittent. “The fluctuations or intermittencies in the supply of renewable-energy sources could create havoc on the grid in terms of pricing. Some technologies will be very grid-sensitive, while the others will not be.
Another issue to be addressed, Almendras said, is the location where the renewable-energy power plants can be built. The grid impact study could indicate which areas prefer certain renewable-energy technologies.
“What we’re going to do, we’re going to try to move as fast as we can. We’re not saying we’re going to move to the end of April. Maybe a week or two-week delay in the submission can be accommodated for the promises we made for the midyear decision for the ERC,” he said.
Pete Maniego, NREB chairman, confirmed that NGCP requested for an extension up to end-April to submit the grid impact study. He said the DOE needs this study to determine installation targets which must be included in the FIT petition.
Maniego said his agency approved NGCP’s request and wrote the ERC to extend the FIT petition submission deadline to May 16. --P.A. Isla
Posted by wish-witch at 9:58 PM
Manila Standard Today
by Alena Mae S. Flores
THE National Grid Corp. of the Philippines assured electricity users of the integrity of the country’s transmission networks in the coming summer months as it ruled out a technical error in the tripping of the San Jose-San Manuel line.
National Grid said it is addressing isolated cases of disturbances to the country’s transmission network even as it ruled out technical constraints as the cause of the power outage that hit certain parts of Metro Manila and nearby provinces last Saturday.
“It was an isolated incident and not a portent of any major power outage or running brownouts this summer,” NGCP spokesperson Cynthia Perez Alabanza said.
“The accident happened because of human error. Our transmission grid has no technical constraints to speak of and remains fully capable of delivering power to its customers. But accidents like grassfires happen and these are beyond our control,” Alabanza added.
The grassfire in Barangay Sumacab in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija that led to the tripping of the 500-kilovolt San Jose-San Manuel line last Saturday necessitated the shutdown of three of NGCP’s four transformer units at the San Jose Substation in Bulacan, which then led to the power outage on Saturday.
Alabanza said NGCP president and CEO Henry Sy is appealing to communities hosting transmission facilities across the country to be more vigilant in guarding and protecting high-voltage transmission lines against grassfires, especially during the summer season..
“The cause is clearly not a transmission problem or technical constraint on the part of the NGCP but a physical fault which is beyond our control,” Alabanza said. “This is an isolated incident that could have been avoided if we can all work together in helping safeguard ourtransmission lines.”
Alabanza said the expansion of the San Jose Substation’s capacity last year already effectively addressed the transmission congestion in the Luzon grid inherited from its predecessor, the National Transmission Corp.
Posted by wish-witch at 6:39 PM
Manila Standard Today
by Alena Mae S. Flores
First Gen Corp., owned by the Lopez group, said Monday it registered a consolidated net income of $121 million in 2010, up 27 percent from $95 million in 2009, due to higher revenues.
The company reported to the Philippine Stock Exchange that net income attributable to the parent company rose $70.2 million, up 319 percent from $16.7 million a year ago.
First Gen’s consolidated revenues also jumped to $1.2 billion, up 33 percent or $222.1 million, from $1 billion in 2010.
“The substantial increase in earnings was driven by the strong operating performance of the First Gas group, First Gen Hydro Power Corp. and Energy Development Corp. These developments were complemented by the positive effects of the company’s deleveraging program,” First Gen president Giles Puno said.
The company said the reliable dispatch of First Gas’ 1,000-megawatt Santa Rita and 500-MW San Lorenzo natural gas-fired power plants were the main contributors to the increase in revenues from the sale of electricity.
The higher revenues, however, were offset by corresponding increases in the pass-through fuel charges to electricity buyers and higher operations and maintenance fees paid to Siemens Power Operations Inc.
The First Gas plants delivered stable earnings of $130.1 million in 2010.
First Gen said there was a notable increase in equity in net earnings from associates, namely Energy Development and FG Hydro in 2010.
Energy Development, the country’s largest operator of geothermal-fired power plants, provided higher earnings to First Gen of $52.5 million in 2010, up by $21.5 million, from $31 million in the previous year.
The improvement resulted from the full-year effect of the operation of the 192.5-MW Palinpinon and 112-MW Tongonan geothermal power plants, Energy Development’s receipt of VAT tax credit certificates and lower deferred taxes.
The improvement in earnings was partially offset by the impairment booked for Energy Development’s 49-MW Northern Negros geothermal power plant and lower revenues from Energy Development’s Unified Leyte geothermal power plant complex.
Posted by wish-witch at 10:13 AM
By Mindanews | Wednesday| March 30, 2011
DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/29 March) – Local governments have been cautioned against entering into contracts for coal-processing and coal-fired power plants as mounting global fears on operating nuclear power plants may prop up the price of coal soon and using it may end up more costly.
Catherine P. Maceda, adviser to the Senate committee on climate change, told a climate change conference at the Marco Polo Hotel here Saturday that the coal’s promise of cheap power may have been negated by the mounting preference for sources other than nuclear energy in the aftermath of the nuclear meltdown in Japan.
“Eventually, the price of coal may increase. This may even become too expensive for local governments to pay or operate in the long run, aside from being dirty to the environment,” Maceda said.
The conference served as a prelude to the worldwide Earth Hour activity on Saturday which was highlighted by a simultaneous switching off of electric lights for 60 minutes.
Maceda said coal was a “bad” preference for a source of power despite its cheap price. “We should rather develop more renewable sources of energy, because these are ours, and sooner, because of the law on renewable energy, prices would go down.”
She told local chief executives to look at the terms of the contracts with companies offering to build coal-fired power plants. “I hope that they would not enter into long term contracts, because we would expect more interests in developing renewable energy sources because of the law.”
“And we would expect prices to become affordable in the long run,” she said.
“They (local governments) should demand for clean coal if ever they would enter into contracts,” she added.
Arturo Milan, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Aboitiz-owned Davao Light and Power Co., said that Aboitiz Power’s proposal to put up a coal-fired power plant in Davao City was indeed the cheapest alternative that would enable the Davao Light to meet the power requirement of its franchise area and the annual 6.1-percent increase in power demand of this city.
Aboitiz Power has assured Davao residents of developing clean coal energy, aside from bringing the city councilors to the Steag coal-fired power plant in Misamis Oriental for an ocular visit at the five-year-old facility.
“What we are interested in is to have a baseload that is dependable and cheap,” Milan said.
The Davao Light’s 306-megawatt requirement for the household and industries was supplied by the National Power Corp. (260 mw) and the remaining 46 mw by the Hedcor (42 mw by Hedcor Sibulan and the 4 mw from Hedcor Talomo). The Hedcor is a sister company engaged in power generation.
The Davao Light is the distribution company of the Aboitiz group covering the cities of Davao and Panabo of Davao del Norte, and the municipalities of Braullio Dujali and Santo Tomas.
Milan told the conference that the successive episodes of the debilitating impact of the El Nin͂o occurrences in 1992, 1996, 2004 and 2008, have ruled out hydropower as undependable power sources.
The El Nin͂o occurrences forced severe power blackouts and power rotations among factories or purchases of power generation sets. The Mindanao grid gets 53 percent of its supply from the hydroelectric power plants along the Agus River of the two Lanao provinces, and the Pulangi power plant in Maramag, Bukidnon.
“I am confused. When we raised our rate by eight centavos, everybody was complaining. And when the El Nin͂o happened, the public has questioned us why we cannot supply them with power. And when a coal plant is being set up here to give us cheap power, there are those who oppose it,” Milan said.
He said a Belgian company has proposed to put up a 20-mw solar energy generation. “Aside from it is only 20 mw [sic], the feed-in tariff is also high at between P20-P26 per kilowatt hour,” he said.
“If we get this power source, and computing it with the other power sources that we have, we would expect an addition of P2.50 to the current P6.68 per kwh,” he said.
The new electric rate would be near the rate of P8.20 per kwh collected in the Visayas franchise and Cagayan de Oro City. Luzon collects a higher rate of P11.40 per kwh.
“We have to get more sources of power so that the growth of Mindanao would not be stifled by the inability of the distribution companies to provide the power requirement,” Milan said.
Davao City’s power requirement grows by an average of 6.1 percent yearly, “and if not for the rotation brownouts last year, it could have been eight-percent growth,” he said.
Davao Light has a supply of 306 mw while its peak demand is 297 mw.
“This is the peak power consumption under normal conditions, without the El Nin͂o,” Milan said.
Citing industry sources, he said the company would need 10 mw for every one degree rise in temperature.
During the El Nin͂o, temperature rose by five degrees. “That would need at least 50 mw,” he noted. (MindaNews)
Posted by wish-witch at 7:40 AM
Posted by wish-witch at 7:00 AM