Celso cites need for additional generation capacity in Zambo PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 23 April 2011 14:20

Mayor Celso Lobregat said the Mindanao-wide power curtailment that causes the two hour rotational brownout in the city daily heightens the need to put additional generation capacity in Zamboanga.

The daily brownout that the city has been experiencing since Monday is basically due to repair and maintenance work at the hydro electric plant in Bukidnon. He said the turbines are being repaired causing the reduction in the generation capacity, according to the mayor.

“But this heightens the need to put additional generation capacity that will be in place in the city of Zamboanga”, the mayor said.

At present, he said, two investors are eyeing Zamboanga City for alternate power supply—the Conal Holdings Corporation, which proposes the establishment of a coal power plant and the Infinity Philippines, a company that offers solar energy.

The Conal Holdings Corporation has recently signed a memorandum of agreement with the Zamboanga Economic Zone and Free Port Authority for a site survey inside the ecozone area in San Ramon. The site survey is set to last for about a year and if a site is finally found, the investor will have to comply with all the requirements such as the environmental clearance certificate, environmental impact assessment and several others.

When asked as to whether or not the city will endorse the project, the mayor said the city government will support the project for as long as it meets all the environmental requirements.
The city government in cooperation with the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (ZAMCELCO) and other stakeholders, has also initially discussed with Infinity Philippines for the possible establishment of solar panels also at the Ecozone area.

However, he said, the Infinity proposal will have to await the issuance of guidelines on the Renewable Energy law.

The mayor said the city government is looking at various alternatives and helping facilitate the different proponents but stressed that all requirements should be complied before a project can be officially endorsed by the city government.

Chances for the establishment of a hydropower plant including generating power through wind are nil, leaving the city with no other viable alternative energy sources but solar and coal. Nevertheless, he reiterated, all requirements should be met.

Meanwhile, ZAMCELCO has announced that the brownouts are expected to last until April 24 based on the schedule given by the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).

The load curtailment was implemented due to the scheduled total plant shutdown of Pulangi 4 Hydro Electric Plant for its annual preventive maintenance, according to Zamcelco.

However, Zamcelco manager Reinerio Ramos said the duration of the rotational brownout would depend on the daily power allocation to Zamcelco the reason the brownout would last to a minimum of one hour to a maximum of two hours for each of Zamcelco’s feeder lines. — Sheila Covarrubias