Beng wants immediate action for power woes PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 22 May 2015 11:54

By Jasmine Mohammadsali

Mayor BengClimaco urged the energy sector to find immediate and doable solutions to ease the power crisis that has been crippling the city of Zamboanga for weeks now.

In a power forum spearheaded by the Department of Energy and the Office of District 1 Representative Celso Lobregat yesterday, Climaco directed the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative Inc. (Zamcelco) and local stakeholders to explore all and any means available to ensure sufficient supply to the city,specifically the option to contract available energy from un-contracted capacities in the market.

According to Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla, who flew in the City to discuss means and ways to address the energy crisis, among the most pressing need of the city is to contract enough energy capacity to sustain its economic thrusts.

He said Zamcelco needs to contract and sign the available energy despite the costs, highlighting that the energy can already be utilized even while the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) reviews the contract.

Currently, there is around 9.25 to 11.25 MW of available capacity in the market which remains un-contracted, Petilla said.

In an open forum with local stakeholders, the Energy Secretary discussed the need for power capacity offsetting, “base loads” capacity, the maintenance and expansion of the Interruptible Load Program (ILP) initiated by the City Government, and private sector partnerships as long-term and short-term options to move forward.

Petilla however emphasized that whatever option Zamcel oand its stakeholders decide to pursue, what is critical is that they act fast while the options are still there.

For her part, Climaco said the local government is willing to work with all stakeholders to ensure sufficient supply to boost and sustain the economic development of the city.

With a bevy of investments expected to come in, the City is expected to log in an energy demand of approximately 90-95 MW.

Towards this end, the chief executive is looking to pursue measures including a review of the City’s dependency on PSALM and other hydro-electric plants, a review of the contract with SRPI, close coordination with the ERC, and private sector partnerships.

She also enjoined consumer members to be active players instead of being passive enthusiasts.

“The current power situation will never improve if we remain idle,” she said. — Jasmine Mohammadsali