Monday, May 5, 2008

Phillipine Natural Gas Power Plant to Stop Next Year

MANILA, Philippines--State-run PNOC Exploration Corp. is preparing for the possibility of stopping the operations of the 3-megawatt (MW) San Antonio Gas Power Plant in Isabela by the second half of the year.

In its 2007 annual report submitted to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the state firm said the plant's project life was expected to last only till June due to decreasing well-head pressure at the gas field.

"While the project continues to operate, preparations for abandonment are also ongoing. Possible uses of residual gas other than for power generation are also being investigated," the report stated.

The plant last year produced 14,707.98 megawatt-hours of electricity. Gas production from the gas field, on the other hand, reached 324.8 million cubic feet.

It is the first facility in the country to run on natural gas.

It currently provides electricity to more than 10,000 households in Isabela through the Isabela Electric Cooperative 1, which sells power at a cheaper rate compared with that charged by the National Power Corp.

"The project showed that a small onshore gas field can be commercialized. It also helps promote the use of indigenous energy resource in the country aside from generating electricity using a very clean fuel. The project also created livelihood and employment to local residents around the project area," the annual report stated.

Earlier, PNOC-EC said that the San Antonio plant "is a model small-scale gas power generation facility that can be replicated in other parts of the country with marginal gas reserves."

The facility also holds the country's first compressed natural gas (CNG) refueling station for CNG-fed vehicles.

PNOC-EC registered a 32-percent drop in net income in 2007 to P834.7 million, due mainly to lower revenues from the Malampaya Deep Water Gas-to-Power Project and higher operating expenses.

Last year's profit represented only 27 percent of revenues, as compared with 42 percent in 2006.

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