Aug 172014

MANILA, Philippines – The National Power Corp. (Napocor) is set to increase the operating hours of its small power plants in far-flung villages around the country.

Napocor president Ma. Gladys Cruz-Sta. Rita said the state-owned corporation is extending the operating hours of 53 power plants under its so-called Small Power Utilities Group (SPUG). The group provides electricity to remote areas that are not connected to the grid.

Sta. Rita said Napocor would extend the operations of the plants with an additional two to four hours in 20 plants in Luzon, 25 plants in Visayas and eight plants in Mindanao, benefiting a total of 22,841 households.

At present, the operations of the power plants in these areas vary from five, eight, 10 to  or 12 hours.

“Through extension of operating hours, we hope to spur economic activities in the missionary areas, thus, improving the quality of life of our customers in far-flung islands,” she said.

A total of 10 of the 53 power plants, which have slim power reserve will have to wait for the scheduled commissioning of new generating sets to increase  operating hours to avoid power outages or load shedding, she said.

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Originally, Napocor planned to increase the plants’ operating hours next year but Sta. Rita said the company can already accelerate the plan given enough resources.

She said that since the corporation enjoyed good financial standing and sufficient fuel supply, it can already proceed this early.

Napocor has allotted P19 million for the additional fuel requirement. The increased operating hours will not require additional manpower, Sta. Rita added.

The state-run firm had earlier implemented longer in operating hours in Sacol Diesel Power Plant (Sacol DPP) in Zamboanga City on October 2013 and Burias DPP in Masbate on February 2014, data from the company showed.

Furthermore, Napocor has recently granted the request of expansion of operation to 24 hours from 12 hours of the Municipality of Taytay in Palawan through signing a Memorandum of Agreement with the Palawan Electric Cooperative (Paleco), Napocor said.

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