Celso gets power update in meeting with Zamcelco execs PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 17 June 2016 14:09

By DEXTER YAP

District 1 Congressman Celso Lobregat sat down Thursday with the Board of Directors and officials of Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (ZAMCELCO) to gather inputs aimed to  update local power consumers on the power situation as well as to obtain the actual and more factual information about the present power supply and demand of Zamboanga City.

Lobregat was briefed by Zamcelco OIC General Manager Engr. Eduardo Ancheta and Board Vice-President Mike Dela Zerna with regards to the contracted power and the present financial and administrative status of the cooperative.

The veteran solon said that he was not there to pre-empt what will happen in the Annual General Membership Assembly (AGMA) which is scheduled on Sunday, but just to have an update about the past, present and future demand and supply situation of Zamcelco.

“Remember last December, I made a pronouncement about the termination of long hours of brown-out in the city after the purchase of 50 megawatts of power from Western Mindanao Power Corporation (WMPC), but it can come back if the cooperative will not be aggressive in their efforts to address this problem. That’s why I’m here to determine how far have they gone,” Lobregat said.

As the vice-chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations at the same time handling the Energy Sector, Lobregat is very keen in dealing with energy issues, especially pertaining to his own city.

“If I am very concern in my committee in deliberating and finding solutions to the power problem of other cities, the more I should be aggressive to resolve the same issues my city is facing, una anay na demiyo ciudad antes de otro,” Lobregat said.

While presenting the power supply starting month of January to June, the congressman asked Zamcelco officials to clarify the monthly power situation starting January where the demand was at 83 megawatts and the power suppliers of Zamcelco delivered what was required resulting in a zero brownout situation.

The situation changed in February when the supply from PSALM decreased due to long dry spell and power outages were experienced due to preventive maintenance and breakdown of some power generators. The average demand for February was 84MW and the combined supply from PSALM, TMI, MPC, and WMPC was only an average of 80MW.

The situation turned worst in March as the average demand increased to 91MW due to the resumption of the operations of the canning factories in the city. Yet the combined power supply for the power producers was only 83MW. This resulted to 2-3 hour brownout in the city.

In April, the average demand was 95MW and the average supply was only 84MW resulting to a deficit of 11MW with 2-4 hour brownout.

The situation improved in May because the power supply from the power generators reached at an average of 94MW with 19MW from PSALM, 20MW from TMI, 10MW from MPC, and 45MW from WMPC.

Although the total average demand went up to 102MW in June, the average supply situation for the same month also increased to an average of 101MW, with 19MW from PSALM, 14 from TMI, 21MW from MPC, and 47MW from WMPC.

While the average supply for the month of June is 101MW, the contracted amount is at 114MW broken down as follows; PSALM-28MW, TMI-18MW, MPC-18MW and WMPC-50MW. This does not include the 16MW that can be generated from the ZAMCELCO Modular Gensets already installed and inter-connected with the grid.

The expiration of the existing contracts of ZAMCELCO and possible new Power Purchase Agreement with San Miguel Power, GN Power and TSI were also thoroughly discussed in the meeting. Sa Miguel is expected to provide 35MW starting August. GN Power with 18MW is expected by the 1st quarter of 2018, while TSI is expected to supply 25MW.

Both Lobregat and Zamcelco officials explained to the media that when ERC approves a Power Supply Agreement (PSA) it is actually approving a formula for power rates which includes fix cost, semi-fix cost and variable cost. The biggest cost factor is the variable cost which is the cost of fuel, cost of coal and dollar exchange rates.

OIC-GM Ancheta cited the example of TMI contract which was more than P5 at the time of its approval but because fuel cost has gone down, the contract price is now at P3 plus.

The local media was also given an opportunity to have an interaction with the Zamcelco officials and Congressman Lobregat. The dialogue lasted for more than two hours wherein various concerns were tackled and the media was clarified about the main issues confronted by the local electric cooperative.

Zamcelco officials  thanked Lobregat for initiating such a productive dialogue in which the media could use in informing the public about the currently power supply and demand situation in the city.

“We are very glad of this initiative of Congressman Lobregat. We badly need the cooperation of the media and our local officials to reach out to the member-consumers and let them understand the present situation of our electric cooperative. We really appreciate this effort,” said Vice-Chairman Mike Dela Zerna.

Dela Zerna said that Lobregat is of big help to the cooperative, not only now but in past situations wherein the cooperative had faced sensitive issues as well as needed assistance and follow-ups with national government offices and agencies like the DOE, NEA,ERC and all other attached agencies concerning power issues. – Dexter Yap