Napocor assures capability to supply power in Mindanao PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 09 April 2013 11:11

The National Power Corporation (Napocor) yesterday assured the public of its capability to provide power requirements in Mindanao but urges the public to conserve electricity given the receding water elevation of Lake Lanao.

“The current dependable capability of its Agus and Pulangi Hydro Plants including that of Power Barge 104 and its Independent Power Producers totaling about 1071 MW during peak hours is adequate to meet its contractual obligation with its customers in Mindanao which is pegged at 924 MW,” Napocor said in a statement
Earlier, Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla confesses about the problematic power situation in Mindanao, caused partly by the low water elevation in Lake Lanao due to the summer months, to date but stressed that this will be addressed in 2015 when new power plants start operations.

Napocor said Lake Lanao, which is located in Lanao del Sur, is the source of water for the Agus hydro power plant, which in turn provides about 35-40 percent of electricity in the country’s second largest island group.

It projects the water elevation of the lake to go down to the critical level of 699.15 meters above sea level (masl) by May this year if Napocor do not decrease utilization of the power plant and if there is no improvement in water inflow.

Once the water level in the lake reaches critical level, Napocor is required to “start curtailing its operations” and if it further goes down the corporation “will be constrained to shut down the operations of the Agus hydro plants.”

Napocor has been deputized by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to provide and maintain a stable and continuous electric power nationwide from May 13-20, 2013.

It was also mandated by the Department of Energy (DOE) to ensure maximum reservoir level of hydropower plants before election day.

“Thus, in order to ensure that NPC will be able to safely maintain Lake Lanao elevation within reasonable level for the May 13, 2013 elections and ensure sufficient power generation during the election period, NPC will start conserving Lanao Lake water by strictly supplying power to the extent of its contracted capacity with its customers of 924 MW for the months of April and May 2013,” it said.

Napocor also calls on all entities with generation capability “to help mitigate the effects of power shortages by voluntarily operating their generating sets.”

It explained that “while new power facilities like coal thermal plants are being constructed in Zamboanga, Davao and Sarangani to add to the available capacity in Mindanao, said capacity additions will only go on stream by 2015.”

“From now until then, the only immediate solution is for the electric cooperatives to fully nominate their contracted power supply from Therma Marine, to request their end-consumers to shift their power intensive operations during off-peak periods (10 PM of previous day to 7 AM of current day) and to utilize their standby gensets during peak periods (9 AM to 9 PM),” it said.

Therma Marine bought the 200-MW power barges 117 and 118, which the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) privatized in 2010, from Napocor.

NPC noted that “there are observations that the electric cooperatives are not fully nominating their contracted capacities due to its high cost and are still hoping that NPC can still provide beyond the contracted capacity.”

“Full nomination by the concerned electric cooperatives and dispatch of said power barges could have covered the power supply shortfall in their respective franchise areas,” it said.

NPC is also urging ges electric cooperatives to avail of DOE’s offer for the latter to acquire or lease modular power generation sets “to meet the current electricity requirements of its end-consumers.”

It also asks the cooperatives to ink long-term contracts with independent power producers (IPPs) and generating companies “to meet their future electricity demand of their end-consumers.”