The RDC Subcommittee on Power members were briefed on the status of the Libertad Natural Gas Power Plant in Barangay Libertad, Bogo City, Cebu on 04 March 2016.
The natural gas-fired power plant, with a generation capacity of one megawatt, is the first natural gas power plant in Cebu and third in the country. Forum Exploration Inc. partnered with DESCO Inc. to run the power plant and augment the supply distributed by the Cebu Electric Cooperative (CEBECO) II. CEBECO II covers Tuburan town in the midwest to Daan Bantayan in the north and Compostela in the northeast.
On 31 July 2015, the power generator was shut down due to reduced gas pressure, from 85 pounds per square inch (psi) to 19. To address the issue, scrubbers and gas lines were inspected, overhauled and reinstalled. A test-run was conducted on 27 August 2015 but there was a gas pressure low trip at 900 kW. The plant was manually shut down due to the decreasing wellhead pressure. A low trip happens when the gas pressure does not reach the level required to feed fuel to the machine. Low gas pressure equates to low production. In September 2015, a test run was again conducted but a gas pressure low trip at 500 kW was observed. According to the Department of Energy, continuous operations of the natural gas-fired plant would lead to more losses for the company. DESCO Inc. planned to permanently shut down the plant and explore the nearby fields for possible sources of natural gas.