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Malampaya maintenance work scheduled for 15 days in February 23

The Malampaya Deep Water Gas-to-Power Project is slated to undergo a 15-day maintenance period in February 2023, and the Department of Energy (DOE) reported that mechanisms have been put in place to allow power plants to access other sources.

The operator of the Malampaya power project, Prime Energy, informed the department of the maintenance work from February 4–18, 2023, which was initially scheduled for October this year, according to a news release from DOE on Friday.

To avoid the 2022 typhoon season, which “may potentially cause start-up delays as experienced in 2021,” the scheduling change was decided, according to the statement.

The maintenance work is a continuation of the one scheduled for 2021, which was “affected by Covid travel restrictions that prohibited the deployment of foreign professionals,” according to the statement.

According to the statement, “This is a routine maintenance activity that has been closely coordinated with the DOE and other relevant stakeholders to ensure that the Malampaya facilities and equipment operate in a safe, dependable, and efficient manner in order to avoid incidents that could potentially impact the continuous supply of gas to the customer power plants.”

According to DOE, “the supply of gas will momentarily stop” over the 15-day timeframe, forcing power plants to adapt to alternative fuel sources.

Accordingly, “must-run” power plants were required to be designated in order to supply the grid with electricity “under all circumstances.”

The interruptible load program (ILP) will be activated and expanded in close collaboration with the Manila Electric Company (Meralco), other distribution utilities, and retail electricity providers to lessen the impact whenever supply shortages and power outages are about to occur in the grid.

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) needs to complete the transmission lines in the Luzon grid as quickly as possible and broadcast red and yellow alerts at 6 p.m. the night before when there will be a shortage of supplies.

In order to reduce grid demand during the aforementioned period, DOE also urges large users to use their own generators. Industrial, commercial, governmental, and residential consumers are also urged to adopt energy-saving measures.

“Malampaya has been hailed as a world-class upstream plant, which has exhibited exceptional safety performance and high operational reliability,” it continued.

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