Celso presides power crisis meeting today PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 17 March 2012 14:32

Mayor Celso Lobregat convenes today a stakeholders’ meeting to discuss the power situation in Zamboanga and possibly to recommend measures to resolve the looming power crisis in the city and the Mindanao area.

Mayor Lobregat was prompted to call for a stakeholders’ meeting amidst the worsening power situation brought about by the rolling brownout schedules.
The situation is also aggravated by the looming controversy between the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (Zamcelco) and various business groups that oppose the coop’s plan to purchase power from private suppliers in the face of the worsening power situation.

Mayor Lobregat hopes that mitigating measures such as alternative sources of power will be in place the soonest possible time. Such measures he stressed will be discussed during the meeting today.

The meeting, set at 9am at the City Hall conference room, will be attended by Zamcelco officials, representatives from the business and industrial groups, urban poor, academe, barangay and all other sectors that have a stake in the power situation in the city.

Congressional Representatives Beng Climaco of District I and Erbie Fabian of District II are also invited to participate in the discussion.

The Department of Energy (DOE) in a statement said the Mindanao grid has been experiencing frequent red alert notices from National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), which led to actual power curtailments in some parts of the grid. Projected peak demand in the region is at 1,300 MW while available capacity for Mindanao is only at 1,110 MW (excluding the 200 MW from the power barge of Therma Marine, Inc.). The demand does not include the required reserve margin to maintain the integrity of the grid as mandated by the Grid Code, which is currently pegged at 250 MW.

The DOE also stresses that the hydropower plants in Mindanao are already running in their optimized available capacity.

“However, considering the future lower rainfall forecast in Mindanao, we cannot rely solely on hydropower plants. Non-hydro base load is immediately needed and this will only happen if everyone cooperates,” Energy Secretary Jose Rene D. Almendras said in a press statement. — Sheila Covarrubias