The Philippines will require an investment of $13 billion to meet growing power demand over the next 10 years, according to Business World Thursday.

The Department of Energy forecast the country will require additional capacity of about 13 083 MW from 2001 to 2011, according to its Power Development Plan.

The department estimated that domestic energy sources, including natural gas, geothermal, hydropower, solar and wind, will account for about 58 per cent, or about 7588 MW of the additional capacity. Imported fuel, including coal and petroleum, will account for 42 per cent or about 5494 MW.

Of the indigenous sources, natural gas will provide about 4650 MW of new Philippine power. The majority will be supplied by the Malampaya gas field, which began production in late September.

The Malampaya gas field located near the western island of Palawan province is scheduled to provide fuel to three power plants with a total installed capacity of 2700 MW – the 1200 MW Ilijan power plant, the 1 000 MW Santa Rita power plant and the 500 MW San Lorenzo power plant.

The Malampaya gas field’s operator, Shell Philippines Exploration B.V., in late September delivered natural gas to the Santa Rita power plant via an onshore pipeline.

The San Lorenzo plant will be commercially operational by late April or early May 2002. The Ilijan plant is scheduled to begin commercial operation in January 2002.

San Pascual Cogeneration Co. International B.V. is currently in talks with state-owned National Power Corp., or Napocor, about fuelling its future 304 MW power plant with Malampaya gas. The plant, which was originally to be fuelled by low-sulfur waxy residue, is likely to begin commercial operation in 2005.

Energy Secretary Vincent Perez has said the government is keen to raise gas use by switching oil-burning power plants to natural gas.

Shell Philippines Exploration B.V., is a unit of Royal Dutch/Shell Group (RD).

ChevronTexaco Corp. (CVX) holds a 50 per cent stake in San Pascual, while the remaining 50 per cent is held by U.S.-based Edison Mission Energy.