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ERC completes scrutiny of 8 power generation firms

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The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has concluded its probe on eight power generation companies (gencos) that were found to have breached their plant outage allowance, causing the unscheduled brownouts from May 31 to June 3.

“We are done with about eight. We have finalized evaluation of the facts. We are now in the last phase of computing penalties,” ERC Chairperson Agnes Devanadera told congressmen during a hearing on the presentation of the agency’s budget for 2022.

She did not identify the eight gencos. The ERC will release its final resolution “within the next two weeks.”

“We went through the process of requiring them to explain and to submit their explanations. In general, most of these explanations dealt on the pandemic related issues like inability of technical people to come in and delay in the delivery of the spare parts because of the lockdown.  But we are resolving the cases one by one, not in lump sum,” the ERC chief said.

The ERC said there were 17 gencos cited in its probe, following the show-cause orders issued last June 22.

The ERC is also looking into the possible collusion among the gencos whose facilities were on extended shutdown—including those that performed unplanned maintenance that led to rotational brownouts in Luzon.

The Department of Energy (DOE) earlier said gencos that reported prolonged plant outages could face charges of anti-competitive behavior and economic sabotage for violating government-enforced laws and policies.

Gencos, except for those operating hydroelectric power plants, are not allowed by the DOE to conduct power plant maintenance during the peak quarter. Also, the ERC has put in place a cap on annual unplanned outages per generating plant technology to promote accountability.

All 17 gencos earlier found to have plant outage allowance breaches submitted their explanation to the ERC last July.

The 17 gencos are Sem Calaca Power Corp., GN Power Mariveles Center Ltd. Co., Masinloc Power Partners Co. Ltd., Southwest Luzon Power Generation Corp., Team Sual Corp., SPC Power Corp., Panay Power Corp., SN Aboitiz Power-Benguet Inc., CBK Power Co. Ltd., SPC Island Power Corp., First Natgas Power Corp., FGP Corp., First Gas Power Corp., Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp., Energy Development Corp., Hedcor Bukidnon Inc.; and PSALM-Soosan ENS Co. Ltd.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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