ERC OKs Celso’s request, 7MW coming on May 3 PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 27 April 2013 11:26

The Energy Regulatory Commission has approved Mayor Celso Lobregat’s request to allow the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (Zamcelco) to draw power from Mapalad Power Corp. (MPC) prior to the approval of the Power Sale Agreement (PSA) in view of the exigency of resolving the power shortage in the city.

This developed, as the MPC yesterday also acceded to the urgent request of Mayor Lobregat to accelerate and fast track delivery of the 18 megawatt capacities committed to the City instead of the staggered drawdown. And as a result, starting May 3, the first 7MW will be delivered to Zamcelco instead of the 2MW set to be delivered on May 13 as stipulated in the PSA.

ERC chairperson and Chief Executive Officer Atty. Zenaida Cruz-Ducut has approved Lobregat’s request, as she acknowledged the fact that the immediate implementation of the PSA is the immediate solution to the prevalent power crisis that long beset Zamboanga City.

Lobregat in his letter to Ducut, dated April 23, 2013 requested that Zamcelco be granted a provisional authority or be allowed to immediately purchase power from MPC prior to the grant of provisional authority, hearing of which is set on May 14 yet.

The drawdown of power prior to the approval of the PS however, the ERC chair said, is on condition that “the rates to be implemented shall be subject to the Commission’s final decision under ERC case No. 2013-050 RC scheduled for public hearing on May 14.

Lobregat together with Sherwin Mañada, National Electrification Administration (NEA) supervisor and Zamcelco OIC manager and Archimedes Donato, OIC of the San Ramon Power Inc., a sister company/ affiliate of Mapalad Power Corporation, happily informed the public about these latest developments in the city’s power situation in a press briefing conducted noontime yesterday.

Donato said as stipulated in the PSA between Zamcelco and MPC, the delivery of the power coming from the MPC Iligan Plant would have started on May 13 for 2 MW; Sept. 1 for 6MW followed by Sept. 15 and Sept. 29 when the full 18mw shall have been delivered.

“But in recognition of Zamboanga’s urgent request to accelerate the supply of power, we have also exerted all efforts to accelerate rehabilitation of the Iligan plant and as a result we will be able to advance the supply of power from Iligan plant by about 10 days”, Donato said stressing that on May 3, the MPC will delivery 7MW to Zamcelco.

The 7MW is composed of the 2MW contracted capacity between Zamcelco and MPC and 5MW unused allocation from Holcim Philippines.

“And also in recognition of the city’s urgent request for us to exhaust all means/ explore other sources of power supply, as we are talking here today, negotiations are ongoing with industrial plants like Philcintel and Dole in Pollomolok for them to allow us to draw unused capacity in the embedded plants”, Donato revealed stressing that it means a potential 7MW additional supply for Zamcelco for a total of 14MW by May 3.

He explained that the potential 7MW is pending negotiation between MPC and industrial plants.

Donato added that without accelerating the plant’s rehabilitation, the full 18MW capacities committed to Zamcelco would be delivered in full by Sept. 29 “but as it is accelerated now, we will be able to complete rehab by first week of august and accelerate delivery of supply by first week of August”.

Mañada said the additional 7MW power supply by May 3 would mean a reduction of power curtailment in Zamboanga by 1 hour and 45 minutes, as for every 4MW of power supply is equivalent to 1 hour curtailment.

Lobregat expressed elation over ERC’s and MPC’s positive response to his requests stating that everything possible is being done to help address the power shortage in the city.

He emphasized that the power crisis is not only in City but Mindanao-wide and is caused by low water level in Lake Lanao.

Mapalad, according to Lobregat is currently ongoing rehabilitation and is “expected to feed Mindanao grid with additional power to avert the power crisis in the island” and that it is “working for other solutions such as the modular generator sets as immediate solution to cover the short fall in power supply”. These solutions among others were presented and discussed during the power forum held in the city last March 15.

In his letter to Joseph Nocos, Vice president and Business Development Manager of San Ramon Power Inc. dated April 25, Lobregat emphasized that due to the considerable delay in the signing of the PSA of San Ramon Power Inc., the 25MW from the Mapalad Power Corporation, which was originally allocated to Zamcelco was reduced to 18-MW. Zamcelco, was among the last to sign the PSA.

“Considering the location of the Western Mindanao Power Corporation is in Sangali and considering that the San Ramon Coal Power Plant will be located in San Ramon, Zamboanga City, I am writing to urge you to exhaust all means possible in order for you to prioritize and fast track the delivery of the 18-MW capacities committed to Zamboanga City as soon as possible. We cannot wait until September for the full drawdown of the 18MW as originally scheduled. As you also know, Zamboanga City is experiencing outage lasting up to 9 hours a day”, Lobregat said in his letter. — Sheila Covarrubias