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Power outage seen; consumers urged to save electricity

July 14, 2014 | admin

MANILA, Philippines—The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) on Friday announced there would be rotating one-hour power outages on Saturday, possibly starting 9 a.m. in various parts of its franchise area.

“NGCP (National Grid Corp. of the Philippines) forecast a system deficiency of 227 MW (170 MW for Meralco) at noon peak and 119 MW (89 MW for Meralco) at afternoon peak,” Meralco’s head of utility economics Lawrence S. Fernandez said in a text message. “One hour rotating brownouts may start 9 a.m.”

In a separate advisory, US-led firm AES Philippines said unit 1 of the Masinloc Coal-Fired Thermal Power Plant in Barangay Bani, Masinloc, Zambales province, has not been revived from its July 10 shutdown “due to an operational problem.” “AES is currently working to rectify the situation and is committed to safely returning the unit to service.

“We expect the situation to be resolved as soon as possible,” AES said.

Earlier Friday, Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said the outages were possible but not yet imminent. “I don’t expect brownouts this weekend although we will be on alert because of Ilijan 2 maintenance,” said Petilla, referring to the power plant in Barangay Ilijan, Batangas City. Nonetheless, Petilla said it was in the interest of both providers and consumers to manage energy consumption well.

With Masinloc 1 not yet revived, however, the power gap could drain Luzon’s energy resources.

Unit 2 of the Ilijan power plant and eight others are set to shut down for maintenance between mid-July and mid-November.

Meralco said that given the number of scheduled outages of several large power plants for the rest of the year, consumers should pay attention to updates on power supply and save energy.

The distribution utility said appliances should be in top condition so as to maximize its reliability and efficiency. Turning off appliances and lighting not in use is also another way of managing consumption.

It may be recalled that power rates grew slightly in July because of the tight power situation in June, when scheduled and unscheduled power plant outages occurred.

The resulting thin reserves brought about by these outages likewise led to frequent alerts last month, Meralco said

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