SMC’s Ilijan power plant likely to restart operations next month

San Miguel Corp.’s Ilijan power plant is expected to resume operations by February based on the government and industry target for the implementation of a gas-swapping arrangement.

Jose Ronald Valles, Manila Electric Co. first vice president and head of regulatory management, said in a forum they hope to implement the arrangement on Feb. 26, 2023.

He said the arrangement, which will allow the Ilijan plant to run on natural gas from Malampaya using the allocation of First Gas plants, would be subject to the endorsement of the Department of Energy] and approval of the Energy Regulatory Commission.

“The objective really is to address any potential supply deficiency,” Valles said.

He said stakeholders discussed early this month the term sheet for the fuel-swapping arrangement.

Valles said the DOE supports the arrangement since it is “for the good of the country.”

He said First Gas would supply Meralco from its Santa Rita natural gas plant using alternative fuel, while SPPC shall use the gas from First Gas’ allocation for the Ilijan plant.