Power firm execs cite Celso’s unique request with ERC PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 30 April 2013 11:05

Executives from the San Ramon Power Inc. (SRPI) and Mapalad Power Corporation (MPC) are amazed at the manner how Mayor Celso Lobregat approached and helped solve the impasse in the implementation of the power sale agreement between the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (ZAMCELCO) and the MPC.

Describing the approach as “unique”, SRPI officer-in-charge Archimedes Donato and SRPI consultant Engr. Ruben Conti said Lobregat’s precise intervention in the issue paves the way for the unhampered implementation of the PSA prior to the issuance of the provisional authority by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).  The SRPI and MPC are sister companies.

The same unique efforts resulted to the early delivery of 7 megawatt power capacities by May 3 by the MPC instead of the 2MW due on May 14 as stipulated in the PSA, according to Donato and Conti.

The ERC last Thursday (April 25) approved Lobregat’s request to allow the ZAMCELCO to draw power from Mapalad prior to the approval of the PSA in view of the exigency of resolving the power shortage in the city.                                    A day after ERC’s approval to the mayor’s request, the MPC also acceded to Lobregat’s urgent request to accelerate/ 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.

Per his recollection, Conti said it was the first time that the ERC granted such a request. He said Lobregat’s rare convincing power and the precise explanation of the Zamboanga situation are among the factors that earned the ERC nod.

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.

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.

Zamcelco OIC manager and National Electrification Administration (NEA) project supervisor Sherwin Mañada said the 7MW set to arrive in May 3 will reduce power outage in the city by one hour and 45 minutes and will also result to a minimal increase in power rates. — Sheila Covarrubias