Increased capacity needed to support GDP growth - PCCI
Cagayan de Oro City (4 December) -- In a meeting with energy and power players and industry stakeholders, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the largest business organization in the country, lauded the AES Philippines, owner of the Masinloc power plant, for its initiative to fast track the upgrading of its power plants.
The PCCI further welcomes the announcement made by Secretary Rene Almendras of the Department of Energy at the Infrastructure Summit last November 18 that investors have committed 2,000 MW of additional capacity which will come in 2013.
PCCI notes that a percentage of GDP growth is accompanied by a.68% rise in power consumption. To meet projections of GDP growth, investments in power generation must be in step with the priority to grow the economy and attract investments.
PCCI President Francis Chua explains, Power has long surpassed labor as a ratio of production content. Power cost consumes about 15% to as much as 30% of a business and industry's operating cost. If we are to factor in power consumption with the projected GDP of seven to eight percent in 2011 and onward, actual available capacity of power plants must increase by at least three percent.
PCCI is urgently advocating to the new owners of privatized generation plants in Luzon, which now stands at an aggregate of 13,319 MW, to devote special and aggressive focus in the rehabilitation, maintenance and upgrading of their power plants similar to what the AES is engaged in, to bridge the forecasted shortfall in the next two years.
In brief meetings where business and industry leaders articulated their concerns, the new government team assured they are engaged with players in the power sector and are reviewing the means to improve the regulatory framework and the market/supply structure to encourage more private sector investments in the power generation sector.
"Bringing the capacity of those old plants near their name-plate rating should be able to bring in over 300 MW to the grid per annum," said PCCI's Energy Chairman, Mr. Jose Alejandro.
While attention is focused on the big islands, PCCI likewise strongly advocates that equal attention be given to the islands under the SPUG program to ensure that they do not suffer the same power shortfalls and power concerns. This is because hundreds of the MSME members of PCCI are out there diligently operating and supporting the growth of the economy. It is important therefore that their respective development programs be urgently passed.
In the meantime, PCCI, through its local chambers, have taken an active leadership in organizing and promoting energy efficiency and conservation programs in their areas. Its chambers in Palawan, Cotabato, Cebu, Gen. Santos, and the island of Capiz have begun undertaking information and education campaigns on these programs.
PCCI continues to closely work with the national leadership to further address challenges in power supply and power rate. (PCCI/PHILEXPORT) [top]