At least eight power generation companies (GenCos) have been formally tagged by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for penalties for breaching allowable forced outages in their electric generating facilities, that in turn triggered rotational blackouts and rate spikes last summer.

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In official correspondence submitted to Congress, ERC specified that it already resolved the pending cases of the power firms – and the final decisions that will mete out penalties upon them are already due for promulgation.

The power firms set to be enforced with penalties are: CBK Power Co. Ltd. for its Kalayaan hydropower facility; Energy Development Corp. (EDC) for Nasulo plant; and state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) for its recently divested 650-megawatt Malaya thermal power facility.

The other GenCos due to be imposed with penalties are: SEM-Calaca Power Corp. for the Calaca coal plant; SN-Aboitiz Power-Benguet Inc. for its Ambuklao hydro plant; Southwest Luzon Power Generation Corp. (SLPGC) for SLPGC coal-fired facility; SPC Power Corp. for Panay diesel-fired plant; and TeaM Sual Corp. for its Sual coal-fired power facility.

“The ERC is now in the process of promulgating the nine resolved cases,” ERC Chairperson Agnes T. Devanadera stated in her letter to Congress.

She also committed to furnish the legislative body with copies of their decisions. Of the nine decisions due to be rendered, it was only the coal-fired plant of Masinloc Power Partners Co. Ltd. (MPPCL) of the San Miguel group that had not been flagged for penalties.

The ERC further indicated that 10 more cases are already due for resolution and these will cover: First Gas Power Corp.; First NatGas Power Corp.; GNPower Mariveles Coal Plant Ltd.; Hedcor Bukidnon Inc.; Panay Power Corp.; PSALM for the Agus hydroelectric plant; and SPC Power Corp. for Power Barge 104.

In June this year, the power industry regulator served show cause orders (SCOs) to at least 17 GenCos involving 35 power plants that were apprehended to have logged massive forced outage incidents that surpassed the reliability indices prescribed by the ERC per technology.

“ERC has sent notices of non-compliance to GenCos to explain the incurred cumulative unplanned outages beyond the maximum allowable unplanned outage days for the year 2021,” the regulatory agency emphasized.

Devanadera said the ERC has been “monitoring the activities of the generation companies, especially those that underwent unplanned outages, that caused the thinning of power supply in the Luzon grid.”

The ERC chief stressed “the power supply shortage during the summer months has been a perennial problem, and the regulator has been monitoring the situation from day one.”

She added that “the stakeholders must be responsible in managing their operation efficiently and sensitive enough of the implication of planned or unplanned outages.”

She further emphasized that “the Commission has been undertaking all the necessary efforts to help mitigate, if not totally address this recurring challenge.”

Source: Manila Bulletin (