ERC OKs WMPC’s 50MW power sale to Zamcelco PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 13 December 2015 14:53

Starting today, Sunday, Zamboanga City will be relieved of the pestering blackouts with the Western Mindanao Power Corporation (WMPC) ‘s Diesel Plant in Sangali providing the much-needed power following the issuance of a provisional authority by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on the Power Sales Agreement (PSA) Zamcelco has entered with WMPC for the purchase of 50 megawatts.

In a statement Saturday, Oscar Benedict E. Contreras III, Head of Corporate Communications, Alsons Power, of which WMPC is part of, announced that ERC has granted a provisional authority for the Power Sales Agreement (PSA) between WMPC) and the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Zamcelco) for the provision of 50 megawatts (MW) to Zamboanga City.

Contreras said that the tariff rates approved by ERC in the PSA is lower than the rate the Alsons Power has indicated prompting the company to file a motion for reconsiderationto allow for a tariff rate that is sustainable.

“While we thank the ERC for their timely issuance of a provisional authority we would also want to make it known to the public that the tariff rate approved by the Commission is significantly lower than the rate indicated in our PSA that would allow WMPC to operate sustainably and ensure a steady supply of power for Zamboanga City,” Contreras said..

Nevertheless, he added, Alsons Power is glad to announce that despite the motion for reconsideration with the ERC, the WMPC diesel plant in Sangali, Zamboanga City will be operating on Sunday December 13, 2015 to provide much needed power to the people of Zamboanga City.

“Until the ERC is able to grant a tariff rate that will allow for the continuous sustainable supply of power from WMPC to ZAMCELCO, we will do our best to operate for as long as we can and as far as our resources can sustain us. We ask the people of Zamboanga to support our appeal to the Commission (ERC)  to ensure that the WMPC plant will continue to supply Zamboanga City with electricity into 2016 and beyond,” Contreras said. “We at the Alsons Power Group remain steadfast in our commitment to provide safe, reliable and affordable power to the people of Zamboanga City and the rest of Mindanao.

District 1 Congressman Celso Lobregat also on Saturday announced ERC’s granting of the provisional authority in a press conference.

Lobregat had earlier been lobbying with ERC to approve the PSA to get Zamboanga City out of the power crisis.

Lobregat personally handed the ERC document to Zamcelco Board President Omar Sahi and OIC-General Manager Engr. Eduardo Ancheta for them to have the first hand information about the provisionary authority and act on it immediately.

WMPC is set to terminate on midnight of December 12 ,2015 its existing contract with the National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR) and has committed and contracted Zamcelco for the provision of 50 megawatts  for the local power cooperative beginning today.

“All of us wanted to end up this power crisis in our city, I just did my part to be of help not only to Zamcelco, but for the constituents who are suffering the consequences of this crisis, “ Lobregat said.

ERC Chairman Jose Vicente Salazar and four other commissioners in its resolution ruled that in the light of protecting the interest of electricity consumers in so far as they are affected by the present power crisis, the PSA entered into by Zamcelco,  and WMPC will redound to the benefits of the public in terms of having a continuous, reliable, efficient and affordable power supply for the city.

“This is the best Christmas we can give to the Zamboangeeños, having a black-out free Christmas and New Year,” Lobregat said.

Lobregat said that based on the documents given to him by ERC,  Zamcelco and WMPC  filed their application for PSA on August 25, 2015 after the series of extensive power interruption hit the city anew.

Zamcelco President Omar Sahi revealed that to the last minute on Friday, all of the officials and Directors of Zamcelco were desperate and becoming hopeless for the limited remaining hours and minutes that day for ERC to crucially issue the provisional authority, but minutes before the end of office hours that day, they received the good news from the commission thru Rep. Lobregat.

“Zamcelco management would really like to thank Congressman Lobregat for his intercession and constant personally follow-up to ERC on this matter to look for an immediate solution to our power problem, “ Sahi said.

He also thanked the members of Sangguniang Panlungsod (City Council) presided by Vice-Mayor Cesar Iturralde for the resolution sent to ERC appealing for prompt and appropriate actionon the PSA.  With report from Bhong Simbajon/RMN News