Zamcelco well on its way to recovery, rehab — Lobregat PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 20 June 2016 14:10

By DEXTER YAP

Congressman Celso Lobregat has expressed optimism that Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (Zamcelco) will be on its way to recovery and rehabilitation in the event it will be already operating under the Investment Management Contract (IMC),  lowered system’s loss than what it has today and will sustain its present status of contracting sufficient power aggressively with a reserve component.

Lobregat said this in yesterday’s Zamcelco 41st Annual General Membership Assembly which was attended by thousands of member consumers from all over the city.

“Zamcelco has to bite the bullet, and always act and plan with a sense of urgency, purchase power aggressively with a reserve component but with transparency, pursue the IMC and reduce your systems loss.” Lobregat said.

The solon recalled the so called blackout regime which came back at the end of February this year and lasted up to the first week of May 2016 right before elections. It was a hot election issue.

He said that the reason behind the return of brownouts was because power supply from PSALM was down due to the El Niño dry spell and other power suppliers experienced power outages, thereby unable to cope with average demand. But starting the second week of May the brownouts ended, despite the fact that the average demand increased to 91MW due to the resumption of canning factory operations in March.

The average demand for June is between 95 to 102MW and the other suppliers are complying or even delivering higher than the contracted supply.

Lobregat said that with pending new power supply contracts with San Miguel,GN Power and TSI, and the Zamcelco gensets already installed and operational “we do not expect brownouts.”

“I am very happy that you have taken the cue from my message in the 40th AGMA and in my January 12,2016 SOCR as you have adopted the theme for the 2015 Annual Report – ‘Aggressive Power Contracting to Ensure Power Reliability’,” Lobregat said.

The solon said that since the last Annual General Membership Assembly (the 40th AGMA) held on June 21,2015, it has been a very bumpy road for Zamcelco. Quoting his message in the minutes of the 40th AGMA, saying: “The shortage of electricity in Zamboanga City last 2013 is still being experienced until now.”

At any instance, Zamboanga City needs 86 or 90MW, and yet only 66MW was contracted by Zamcelco, hence, there is a deficit of 24MW. Therefore, the reason to power shortage is lack of contracting power with power suppliers. That in the only reason, and there is no other reason.

“Zamcelco should do the right thing, and the right way with excess in purchasing power to ensure there will be no deficiency in the long term. On system loss it has always been the problem of Zamcelco,” Lobregat said.

The allowed system loss of NEA/ERC is 13% which is charged to consumers, but then, it increased to 20% now. For every 1% system loss is P2.2M equivalent loss and yet it continues to increase and increase, and time will come, Zamcelco willgo bankrupt.

Lobregat said that since then, the process of Zamcelco’s entering into IMC moved very slowly. Hardly any new power supply was purchased. The arrival of the 16MW modular gensets purchased by Zamcelco was delayed and in fact, it was only installed and operational by May 2016. The brownouts worsen leading to 2-4-6-8 hour brownouts which finally ended with the ERC’s approval of the 50MW purchase by ZAMCELCO from WMPC. Without the 50MW purchase, we will be experiencing 11-13 hour brownouts today.

“This led me to state in my State of the City Report last January 12,2016, held at Centro Latino, Paseo del Mar which by the way was jammed and so not too many people heard it, so allow me to repeat it today:

“Yes, the long months of daily 2-4-6-8 hours brownout has ended and so has the daily inconvenience and suffering of everybody in Zamboanga and that is why I greeted all of you the best for a happier, brighter and a more peaceful Christmas, New Year, and 2016.” Lobregat said.

He reiterated that  blackouts can come back again if Zamcelco does not act now and decisively.

“It is with hope and optimism that when we meet again for the 42nd AGMA to be held in 2017,  Zamcelco will already be operating under the IMC, Zamcelco’s system’s loss will be addressed and already lower that what it is now and Zamcelco will be well on its way to recovery and rehabilitation.” Lobregat said. – Dexter Yap