Media Statement on the Luzon Power Situation Following Typhoon Aghon

The Department of Energy (DOE) asks for the public’s cooperation to efficiently use electricity in the Luzon grid, especially today, 27 May 2024. This as the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) issued a Red Alert notice from 4:00 PM - 10:00 PM and Yellow Alert from 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM and 10:00 PM - 11:00 PM today. Total capacity on forced outage is 4,281.3 MW while deration amounts to 216 MW. 


Typhoon Aghon has caused a substantial decrease in available power supply in the grid at a time when the hydro power plants have not yet recovered from their low water supply. While the power supply is expected to improve in the coming days, the DOE encourages everyone to conserve energy in order to minimize dispatch of the more expensive oil-based power plants. Commercial and industrial consumers are also encouraged to continue to participate in the Interruptible Load Program (ILP) of their distribution utilities, particularly Meralco. Temperatures are expected to be lower this week and corresponding power demand will not be as high as in the previous weeks, but supply is constrained.


Since Typhoon Aghon entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) last 25 May 2024, the 1,200 MW Ilijan power plant was on shutdown as its Floating Storage Unit (FSU) had to be disconnected and relocated for safety reasons. On 26 May 2024, Pagbilao Units 1 and 2 with a total capacity of 764 MW and Unit 3 with a capacity of 420 MW went on shutdown due to Typhoon Aghon. Masinloc 3 with a capacity of 335 MW, SBPL with a capacity of 455 MW and Botocan with a capacity of 20.8 MW also went on outage due to the Typhoon. In addition, Kalayaan Unit 4 with a capacity of 180 MW tripped this morning.


Currently, the Ilijan/Linseed FSU is undergoing berthing and attachment. Securing the berthing and attachment of loading arms will take around 2 to 3 hours after which the regasification will resume.  But due to Ilijan’s shutdown, it will have to undergo 14 to 16 hours of cold start before it can resume full normal operations.  Meanwhile, restoration work is currently ongoing on the lines to the Pagbilao plants and in the other affected plants.  Masinloc 3 went online at 7:05 AM and currently loading at 15 MW.


The Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) of First Gas continues to supply the grid despite the Typhoon.  Detachment of the facility was deemed not necessary as the threshold did not reach storm Signal Number 2 with 25 knots wind speed.


Meanwhile, several hydro power plants are derated having been affected adversely by another natural disaster, the El Niño that brought drought in addition to extreme high temperatures.


On various dates throughout April and May 2024, seven (7) hydroelectric power plants with a total capacity of 440 MW went on forced outage due to low water level and hydrological constraints. In addition, four (4) fossil-fueled power plants with a total capacity of 916 MW have been on forced outage due to technical problems aggravated by extreme heat indices. As observed globally, high ambient air temperature affects thermal power plant performance; air mass volume decreases with increase in temperature forcing compressors to work harder.


Four (4) other hydroelectric power plants and two (2) biomass power plants with a total capacity of 34.7 MW have been offline since August 2023 due to insufficient water level and lack of feedstock, respectively.  Another 15.8 MW biomass power plant was on forced outage since 18 May 2024 due to lack of feedstock. ###