Napocor warns of power outages

Nearly one million households in the country could suffer power outages by July next year due to the impending closure of 278 power plants, a National Power Corporation official warned Friday.

Napocor Finance Planning, Budget and Program Review Department manager Jenalyn Tinonas said the power outages arising from the shutting down of 278 existing plants would be the effect of the P12.536 billion cut from its original proposed budget.

Napocor requested a total of P47.748 billion from the DBM for fiscal year 2023, but the agency recommended only P32.213 billion.

“Because of the P12.536 billion corporate operating budget reduction from our original proposal of P47.748 billion, the P32.213 billion DBM recommended level will not be enough to cover our full-year operation requirements intended for our plant and barges, as well as NPP/QTP, subsidy requirements, considering the fuel as projected will continue to escalate based on the DBBC fuel price assumptions,” Tinonas said.

“There might be a shutdown of 278 existing plants by the end of July 2023 because the budget for our diesel fuel will only cover January to July 2023 operations,” she added.

Napocor said the majority of the power plants that may be shut down are in Luzon with 200 plants affecting 235,208 households; followed by 54 plants in the Visayas affecting 42,513 households; and 27 plants in Mindanao affecting 180,562 households.

Tinonas said there will also be a deferment of scheduled energization of 44 new unserved areas affecting 15 areas in Luzon with 5,715 households; 14 areas in the Visayas with 7,804 households and 15 areas in Mindanao with 17,421 households.

The official said that the budget reduction will also cause a deferment of procurement of some spare parts for the preventive maintenance of small power utility group power plants and work orders for the improvement of SPUG plants and barges.

“There will be a delay of payment to various NPPs and QTPs operating in the SPUG areas, which may result in power outages affecting 834,285 households nationwide,” Tinonas said.

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