Zambo Power Forum set on Friday PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 14 March 2013 15:25

The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) in collaboration with the Department of Energy (DOE) and the City Government of Zamboanga is organizing the Zamboanga Power Forum on Friday, March 15 at 1pm at the Centro Latino in Paseo del Mar.

Invited to the forum are power stakeholders and representatives from the different sectors of the city.

The forum is intended to present a current overview of the Mindanao power situation and to provide status updates on government’s efforts to address the power crisis and to seek solutions to the current power shortage and brownouts in the City.
Sanctioned by the Office of President Aquino, the forum will be graced by MinDA Secretary Luwalhati Antonino, DOE Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla and top officials from the National Electrification Administration (NEA), Energy Regulatory Commission, National Grid Power Corporation (NGCP) and other agencies concerned in power. 

Sec. Antonino will present the forum overview and Mindanao Power Monitoring Committee updates while Sec. Petilla will present the Mindanao Power Situation. Officials from the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative will discuss on the Zamboanga City power situation with emphasis on the overview and steps taken to address the power shortage.

Mayor Celso Lobregat, who initiated the forum will give the welcome remarks.

A portion of the assembly will be devoted to the open forum or discussions where the attendees can pose questions and seek clarifications to issues presented.
On Monday, House Deputy Speaker and District 1 Representative Beng Climaco together with Mayor Lobregat met with  President Noynoy Aquino and Local Government Sec. Mar Roxas to discuss about the concern on the power crisis in Mindanao in particular in Zamboanga City. Accompanying the two officials were Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde and Jomar Lobregat.

Friday last week, Mayor Lobregat also convened a meeting with Zamcelco officials led by OIC general manager Sherwin Mañada and Board President Bong Atilano and other stakeholders to discuss about the power situation and short term, medium term and long term solutions in preparation for the forum Friday.

Starting last week, power curtailment due to low water level in Lake Lanao has resulted to 6-8 hours a day blackout daily in Zamboanga.

For March, the power demand in Zamboanga City is 79,821 MW. Zamcelco’s contracted supply with PSALM is 44,342 and 18MW with TMI translating power deficiency to 17MW. However, due to the decreasing water level in Lake Lanao, PSALM can only provide 36MW bringing the shortage to over 24MW resulting to at least 7-8 hours power outage in the city daily.

Zamcelco board president Atilano has cited 3 instances when Zamcelco initiated the purchase of power in anticipation of future power crisis such as now but which were met with strong opposition from some quarters. 

In 2009, the coop proposed the signing of a contract with IN2 Power for a 10MW generator; in 2011, the coop proposed the purchase of 28-30MW power from Therma Marine Inc. (TMI) and just this year, the coop proposed the purchase of 25MW from Mapalad corporation—but all these, according to Atilano were met with opposition from some sectors causing delays in the purchase.

“If only we pushed through with the IN2 Power contract, we would now be having our own generator of 10MW, if only we were able to purchase 28-30MW and not 18 from TMI and if only we purchased 25MW and not 18MW from Mapalad then we will not be experiencing these power situation right now”, Atilano lamented.
Due to the delays, Atilano stressed, Zamboanga is left with no choice but to get what is available –which is the 18MW from TMI (now being supplied) and the 18MW
from Mapalad (to be supplied starting June).

He said oppositions regarding rates should be brought to the proper forum particularly the ERC and not with Zamcelco as this has caused delays in the purchase of power and consequently caused the present power situation in Zamboanga.

Zamcelco last March 8 formalized the power sale agreement with San Ramon Power Inc. (SRPI) and the Mapalad Corporation for an 18MW supply as part of the long term measures. The Mapalad Corporation will start the provision of power in June on a staggered basis. — Sheila Covarrubias