Philippines’ energy secretary warns of 600 MW shortfall

The Philippines’ energy secretary has warned that opposition to new coal fired plants could cause a 600 MW national power shortfall in three years’ time.

If necessary, the government would push through plans for the power plants to protect “the national interest”, said Jose Rene D. Almendras, speaking on 8 September at the Philippine Stock Exchange.

The Philippines will face blackouts by 2014 and 2015 unless it starts now to build at least 600 MW in capacity, he added.

He highlighted the 600 MW coal fired power plant project in Subic, proposed by a consortium of Manila Electric Co, Aboitiz Power Corp and Taiwan Cogeneration Corp, as an example of potentially vital investment. But opposition from residents, local officials and members of non-government organizations was holding up its progress, he said.

“If national interest is not protected, then the president will exercise his powers. But we’re hoping that we will not get there,” he said.

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