Average wholesale electricity spot market (WESM) prices rose in October on tight supply due to the scheduled Malampaya gas facility shutdown and forced outage of some plants while demand continued to rise, the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP) said.
In a virtual briefing yesterday, IEMOP market simulation and analysis division assistant manager Eryl Jansen Gregana said average WESM prices reached P6.75 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) as of Oct. 20 or double September’s average price of P3.30 per kwh.
IEMOP observed a decrease in supply due to the scheduled shutdown of the Malampaya gas facility, which affected some gas-fired power plants, and the forced outages of several generators in the second week of October, he said.
As a result of the forced and planned outages of some gas plant units due to Malampaya gas supply restriction, the average supply declined by 6.4 percent to 13,376 MW this month.
“Apart from forced outages of generators, we can also observe that there are instances that demand rose,” Gregana said.
The increase in electricity demand was almost the same as the pre-pandemic levels, the IEMOP said.
Data from the market operator showed demand increased by 3.24 percent to 10,250 MW.
In terms of system peak demand, October figures reached 12,920 MW versus the previous month’s 12,481 MW. On a per grid basis, the Luzon peak demand rose by 3.36 percent or by 352 MW while the Visayas peak demand also went up by 2.68 percent or by 56 MW.
“With the opening of the economy… demand is also picking up,” IEMOP chief corporate strategy and communications officer Isidro Cacho said.
‘‘It provides some indication, in terms of industrial, commercial customers, demand is picking up.”
The government eased quarantine restrictions in more areas in the country, with the National Capital Region placed under general community quarantine with alert level 4 from Oct. 1 to 15 and further downgraded to alert 3 starting Oct. 16.
As for market transactions for the September billing, the electricity bought from the market was pegged at a lower price effective settlement spot price (ESSP) of P3.41 per kwh compared to the ESSP of P5.13 per kWh in the August billing due to higher supply margin.
The total electricity volume bought from the market last September was pegged at 6,857 gigawatt-hours (GWh) or 7.8 percent of the total volume which is lower than the spot percentage of 8.6 percent in August.