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November 12, 2014

THE PHILIPPINE STAR: Listed firms urged to run own generators

The 263 companies listed at the Philippine Stock Exchange(PSE) were urged yesterday to run their own generators under the government’s interruptible load program (ILP) to ease the projected electricity shortfall in next year’s summer.

“We are appealing to all PSE-listed firms to join the ILP,” Rep. Arnel Ty of part-list group Liquefied Petroleum Gas Marketers Association, who sits in the House energy committee, said.

The program seeks to encourage private companies to run their own generators during peak demand periods between March and June next year, instead of getting their supply from the Luzon grid.

The electricity that these firms would not be taking from the grid would be available to household and small users. The goal is to prevent a rotating brownout.

During next year’s summer months, the Department of Energy (DOE) is forecasting that electricity supply would be sufficient but reserves would be short of the desired level just in case one or two power plants break down.

Ty said seven PSE-listed firms – Ayala Land Inc., Century Properties Inc., GMA Network Inc., Megaworld Corp., Philippien Long Distance Telephone Co., Robinsons Land Corp., and SM Prime Holdings Inc. – have already signed up for the ILP.

He said Federal Land’s office skyscraper GT International Tower has also enlisted. Federal Land is a wholly owned subsidiary of PSE-listed GT Capital Holdings Inc.

 He said Posh Properties Development CO., a unit of PSE-listed Anchor Land Holdings Inc., has likewise joined the ILP, along with Shanri-La Plaza Corp., and affiliate of PSE-listed Shan Properties Inc.

He added that based on established protocols, ILP participants are to disconnect from the Luzon grid and run their own generators once there is a high risk that supply of electricity may fall short of demand.

A total of 29 private companies have so far enrolled in the ILP, and are ready to drive their backup generators.

“We applaud these entities for going out of their way to shield consumers, by helping to minimize the threat of potential power brownouts in Luzon between February to June next year,” Ty said.

The House and the Senate are no longer granting President Aquino’s request for special congressional authority to rent or buy generators from foreign suppliers. The rent of purchase scheme could cost as much as P12 billion.

Instead, lawmakers are now focusing on ILP, which they forecast is sufficient to meet the DOE-reported shortfall of 21-31 megawatts (MW) in the first two weeks of April and a desired reserve of 647 MW for the entire summer.

Mindoro Oriental Rep. Reynaldo Umali, House energy committee chairman, said as of October, ILP participants have committed to free up at least 800 MW, which would be available to small users.

Executive Director Francis Juan of the Energy Regulatory Commission has told the Umali committee that private companies have standby generating capacity of up to 3,000 MW, while the Philippine Chamber Commerce and Industry estimates such backup generators at 2,000 MW.

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