More new gas-fired power units of over 400 MW each will be starting up in the coming months, including those by Singapore's newest genco PacificLight Power, Tuas Power and Keppel Merlimau Cogen - bringing Singapore's total gas-fired generating capacity to more than 9,000 MW.

Such gas-fired combined cycle gas turbines (CCGTs) - as opposed to older steam turbine units - have become the dominant source of power generation here, accounting for 86 per cent of total generating capacity.

The latest capacity additions will take total generating capacity to levels way above peak electricity demand here of around 6,600 MW, raising the possibility of lower electricity prices here.

Reporting the new additions, wholesale electricity market operator Energy Market Company (EMC) said that the three gencos had recently registered their new CCGTs with the National Electricity Market of Singapore (NEMS).

EMC also said that GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals' first embedded generation unit of 1.9 MW was registered with the NEMS, bringing the total capacity of such in-house generation units to 333 MW. Big industries such as Shell and ExxonMobil's refineries as well as pharmaceutical plants employ such in-house units.

When contacted, PacificLight Power CEO Yu Tat Ming told BT that both its CCGTs had been registered with EMC, and are "under commissioning" now. "Both units were synchronised to the grid in June and August respectively."

He expects the genco's new $1.2 billion facility on Jurong Island to be in full commercial operation by end-December. The new power player is a joint venture of FPM Power Holdings (with a 70 per cent stake) and Malaysia's Petronas (30 per cent).

Tuas Power president and CEO Lim Kong Puay said that its latest 406 MW CCGT is in the process of being commissioned, and will start commercial operations next month.

Keppel Merlimau Cogen's latest unit is its second new 420MW CCGT (following the one that it started up in September last year).

On wholesale electricity prices here (as measured by the Uniform Singapore Energy Price or USEP), EMC CEO Dave Carlson said in the company's latest newsletter that the USEP fell in July but rose again in August to $205/MWh. "This is the highest monthly USEP for the year so far," he noted.

Earlier in June, when electricity consumption spiked as a result of the haze and heat, the USEP had crossed the $200/MWh mark for the first time this year, reaching a monthly average of $201/MWh.

EMC said that "the monthly average USEP was $172.74/MWh and $204.93/MWh in June and July respectively", adding: "The movements in the USEP were inversely related to the changes in supply, which expanded in July but decreased in August."

The supply changes are attributed to plant shutdowns for maintenance.