THE National Power Corp. (Napocor) said it plans to borrow P10 billion from Land Bank of the Philippines (LANDBANK) to keep its Small Power Utilities Group (SPUG) running in the face of higher diesel prices.

Fernando Martin Y. Roxas, Napocor president, said that Napocor is planning to borrow more from LANDBANK on top of the P5 billion Napocor obtained earlier.

“We’re hoping to get it by August or September this year. Hopefully by August this year,” Mr. Roxas told reporters at an energy conference.

Napocor serves remote areas not connected to the grid through SPUG, which mainly operates diesel power plants.

He said the P10 billion is estimated to be sufficient to fund Napocor’s fuel requirements for the rest of the year.

Mr. Roxas said the plan to seek financing has been lodged with the Monetary Board.

“We already asked for the Monetary Board’s approval and are beginning to apply for the sovereign guarantee,” he said.

In March, Napocor announced that it will no longer go ahead with an earlier plan to reduce the operating hours of its SPUG power plants.

The plan to reduce operating hours had been floated at a time of unusually high diesel prices, following the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine war.

Napocor has since pivoted to the expansion of off-grid renewable energy (RE) power plants, with a target of going full RE before 2030. — Ashley Erika O. Jose