Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Shot in the arm for NPC as Marinduque and SPUG areas are threatened by new wave of outages

Repost from Philippine Daily Inquirer, Sept. 2, 2011

Napocor getting P1.6B for SPUG

By: Amy R. Remo, Philippine Daily Inquirer

National Power Corp. will receive from the government P1.6 billion to help finance the operations of small power utilities group (SPUG) in off-grid and missionary areas in the country.

At the sidelines of the Renewable Energy Leadership Roundtable on Thursday, Napocor president Froilan A. Tampinco said the power firm received last week the approval for the additional SPUG funding, which would come from the royalties paid for the Malampaya natural gas field.

“We got another shot in the arm, so to speak, from the government,” Tampico said, adding that the amount would be used by Napocor for the SPUG’s operations up to the end of the year.

Of the P1.6 billion, Tampinco said about P1.3 billion would be used for the fuel requirements of the SPUG facilities in various remote areas in the country. The balance will be used to purchase “critical spare parts and other requirements of our generation sets.”

According to Tampinco, the amount was on top of the P2 billion it received earlier from the government, which also came from the Malampaya funds.

Both the P1.6 billion and P2 billion represent reimbursements of the advances made by Napocor for the preservation of the mothballed 620-megawatt Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP).

Just last week, Napocor filed a petition with the Energy Regulatory Commission for an additional P4.3 billion in fees to enable its SPUG to continue operations, as well as prevent a fuel shortage and the consequent shutdown of power facilities.