Suarez backs construction of new Luzon power plants

HOUSE Minority Leader and Quezon Rep. Danilo “Danny” Suarez is keen on supporting the construction of new power plants within his area to help the country address the thinning baseload in Luzon.

“I will not hesitate to continue my support for the construction of new power plants,” said Suarez, the incoming Quezon governor.

The lawmaker added that electricity consumers are the most affected when rotating brownouts occur due to lack of power plants to supply the much-needed baseload.

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) has been issuing a yellow alert since the onset of the summer months due to high electricity demand while supply is steadily dwindling.

Suarez is piqued why NGCP has been constantly issuing the alerts when  there are power plants that are ready for construction. However such  power projects has  been delayed due to confusing regulatory issues.

The Supreme Court (SC) recently issued an order for all distribution utility companies to participate in competitive selection bidding for their power supply agreement (PSA) applications, resulting in the delay in the construction of new and modern power plants.

Suarez said he is not in favor of the SC order, adding the distribution utility companies already complied with the selection process when they filed their PSA application.

“At the end of the day, those power plants have mandates to achieve their return on investment, their profits are controlled hence they are not allowed to increase their price, the consumers will be at the losing end if that happens,” said Suarez.

Suarez said he can’t help sometimes to think that a ‘conspiracy’ and ‘corporate greed’ exists among current power plants, which he thinks are blocking the construction of new plants to ensure their business interests are protected.

Several power plants are in the pipeline in Mauban and Atimonan Quezon, which Suarez said if given the green light for construction, will make Quezon province the ‘most powerful province’ in the country.

An ultra-supercritical coal-fired power plant utilizing high-efficiency, low emission (HELE) technology expected to provide 1,200 megawatt capacity in Atimonan, once cleared by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) and after going through the Competitive Selection bidding (CSP), will bring enormous benefits to residents of the town.

“Quezon has almost all the power plants and it is crucial and inevitable to develop (more) coal power plants. The new [coal] plants must transform their boilers to super-critical to protect our environment,” Suarez added.

The governor-elect is also keen on going for renewable energy, adding the province has two hydro energy plants and now embarking into solar as well.

Suarez envisions to transform Quezon into Calabarzon and the National Capital Region’s food basket.

He bowed to continue his predecessor’s programs, but plans to tweak and enhance them in line with achieving his three paramount objectives: food security, job creation, and maintaining peace and order.