City dad hopeful ERC to approve power dead PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 24 October 2015 13:03

by Bhong Simbajon

Bright prospect is seen in the “Prayer for Provisional Authority” applied for by Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (ZAMCELCO) with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) in the matter of the application for approval of the Power Sales Agreement (PSA) between the cooperative and Western Mindanao Power Corporation (WMPC) for the purchase of additional electricity for the city.

The Zamcelco Board of Directors and management earlier signed (10-year contract with WMPC for the purchase of 50 megawatts of power supply to augment the present power source derived from three power generators in Mindanao, in order to address the deficit which is the cause of sectional blackouts.

Councilor Charlie Mariano, chair of the City Council’sCommittee on Energy, said that he is hopeful in the soonest possible time, ERC will take the most appropriate and favorable action on the approval of the PSA between ZAMCELCO and WMPC to obtain an early preparation for the upcoming inter-connection of lines between the two parties to catch up with the early availability of power supply from WMPC in time for the 100MW power plant to terminate its contract with NGCP on December 13 this year.

Mariano believes that having WMPC supplying power to ZAMCELCO will give a better and firm assurance not only to the local enterprise and constituents but also to would-be investors that require firm and stable power supply to run their business.

“When big businessmen come to Zamboanga, their first question is if we have a stable and enough power supply. We can’t answer them because we don’t have any as of the moment,” Mariano said.

The first ERC hearing last Wednesday presided by ERC Commisioner Atty. Rhett Roswell Mislang will be followed by another one in Manila which will determine the viability o the contract and the PSA applied by both parties for the said engagement to take effect as scheduled.

Intervenors from different sectors were also present during the ERC hearing during which they also expressed their utmost concern and scrutinized the provisions of the proposed PSA. But Mariano, being one of them, also urged the same to look into the benefits of the said contract for the member consumers and not their respective interests.

“I know the intervenors are one with me in pushing this project as the only solution we foresee at present to ensure a merry Christmas for the city,” Mariano said.

He said there are other Independent Power Producers (IPP) that expressed their interests to supply power to ZAMCELCO, but considering the present unstable financial status of the local electric cooperative, it is imperative for investors to ensure the stability of the said electric cooperative if ever they would invest here.

“We should welcome this development and take advantage of the presence of the power plant right here in the city, rather than continue to suffer the power problem we are experiencing at present,” Mariano said.

WMPC’s 100MW bunker fuel power plant located in Barangay Sangali is one of the many power plants of Alsons Group of Companies connected to the  Mindanao grid.

Under the proposed PSA, WMPC will supply or cause to supply to ZAMCELCO the contracted capacity of 50MW as indicated in and subject to the terms and conditions of the PSA, as WMPC’s supply will be in accordance with the good utility practice and in compliance with relevant rules and regulations.

The contract term is 10 years from the time the obligations under the PSA shall become effective, but under certain conditions, ZAMCELCO has the option to pre-terminate the PSA or reduce the contracted capacity. – Bhong Simbajon/RMN News