The Department of Energy (DOE) is studying the possibility of allowing power plants to have longer maintenance periods to ensure that they are repaired properly.

Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla said they are now comparing the amount of time that local power plants are allowed for repairs with those of other countries, especially developed ones like Japan.

Lotilla noted that other countries have longer periods for maintenance work.

Providing power plants with longer maintenance time - instead of the usual one month - would allow them to undertake a 'deep dive' in inspecting the status of the different parts of the facility, the energy chief said.

'We should also allow the plants sufficient time to do their maintenance work,' he told reporters in a recent interview.

'Preventive maintenance is very important. Just like in aircraft, you have to have regular maintenance to be done and enough time to carry out the maintenance,' he added.

The energy chief said external factors like very high temperatures cause the rescheduling of power plant maintenance work in order to keep power generation going to meet higher electricity demand.

Lotilla added that elections also impact power plant maintenance schedules, citing the 2022 elections wherein a lot of plant shutdowns had to be postponed.

'And that affected the performance of the plants as well,' he said, noting that the government is now preparing for the power plant maintenance schedules next year which coincide with national and local elections.

The DOE is hopeful that El Niño would not recur next year so that power plants would have enough time to undertake rehabilitation works, Lotilla said.

In all, he said that longer power plant maintenance should be allowed for all types of generation companies.

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