Brownout-free Sunday: Result of top level meeting, power forum PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 26 May 2015 09:09

By Jubels Santos

Zamboanga City enjoyed a brownout-free Sunday, a result of the immediate measures and solutions born out of the top level meeting in Manila at DOE Secretary Petilla’s office last May 15 and the power forum organized in Zamboanga City last May 21. Both meetings were called upon the urgent request of Congressman Celso Lobregat of Zamboanga City, 1st District to address and look for solutions to the power crisis in Zamboanga City.

The hourly nominations of ZAMCELCO’s demand that were adopted have immediately decreased the number and period of brownouts. Last Sunday, PSALM delivered up to 53-54MW during off-peak hours. ZAMCELCO’s contract with PSALM is 38MW. Mapalad’s contract is 18MW, but during peak hours they were able to deliver 25-26MW. Both resulted to a      brown-out free Sunday. Likewise, brown-out on Saturday was very much shorter. DOE/NEA have assigned personnel on a temporary basis to assist ZAMCELCO in the implementation of the hourly nomination of power to PSALM and other power generators.

Another immediate solution was contracting any and all available excess power from power generators throughout Mindanao on a non-firm basis. ZAMCELCO decided to pursue the non-firm contracts with power generators during the power forum last May 21.

With the implementation of the immediate solutions agreed in the two meetings, the brown-out situation in Zamboanga City is expected to be solved in the coming weeks.

The arrival of ZAMCELCO’s modular generator set was also another solution factored in. The possible need of ZAMCELCO to lease an additional 10MW from other proponents was also another solution put forth.

The medium term solutions of contracting from WMPC and other power generators whose contracts are expiring was also considered. During the power forum, the ZAMCELCO board confirmed the contract of  the purchase of 50MW from the Western Mindanao Power Corporation (WMPC) starting January 2016. Lobregat also urged ZAMCELCO to act on the Investment Management Plan (IMP) and ZAMCELCO said that they will seek the decision in the general assembly to be held in June.

Long term solutions of the construction of the SRPI power plant and the possibility of contracting from other power plants that are being contracted was also considered.

To recall, Congressman Lobregat is the vice chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations tasked to defend the budget of the DOE and energy cluster which include PSALM, ERC and NEA. Several meetings were requested by Congressman Lobregat and he thanks Secretary Petilla and the energy cluster offices for putting immediate attention to the Zamboanga City power crisis situation. — Jubels Santos