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Long brownouts in N. Cotabato to continue until August

 • 23:21 PM Fri Jul 31, 2015
874
By: 
Malu C. Manar
For illustration purposes only

KIDAPAWAN CITY - Power consumers in North Cotabato will continue to suffer long hours of brownouts until second week of August, a spokesman for an electric cooperative here said. Vincent Baguio, spokesman for the Cotabato Electric Cooperative (Cotelco), said that several power plants in Mindanao, particularly the government-owned hydro-electric power plants in Lanao del Sur and Bukidnon, have yet to complete their preventive maintenance system (PMS) until August 13.These included the units 2, 3, and 4 of the Agus 6 hydro-electric power plants in Lanao Pulangi 4 hydro-electric power plant in Bukidnon and the Mount Apo Unit 1 geothermal power plant in Kidapawan City owned by the Energy Development Corporation (EDC).Baguio said the Mindanao grid is not yet stable as of this time, that’s why we are still suffering from three to four hours of load curtailment or brownouts.”Since 2010, Mindanao has been experiencing a significant shortfall of in power supply causing widespread power interruptions. And because no new readily available plant in the Mindanao grid, Cotelco and other electric cooperatives in the island continue to suffer brownouts,” Baguio said in a press briefing at Boylyn’s Pension House here on Thursday.Cotelco has signed several power supply agreement (PSA) or contracts with the National Power Corporation and different independent power producers to ensure that power is delivered to their more than 130,000 power consumers and industrial plants. The Cotelco buys an average of at least 11MW of power from the NPC’s hydro-electric plants 8MW from Therma Marine Incorporated in Maco, Compostela Valley and 5MW from Mount Apo geothermal power, or a total of 24MW daily load.This July, Cotelco is only given 9.5MW of power from Napocor’s hydro-electric plants.Since July, Cotelco is getting at least 5MW from Aboitiz’s Therma South Incorporated in Toril district, Davao City, which is undergoing testing and commissioning of its load to the Mindanao grid.With this power supply status, Cotelco needs at least 10MW to meet the increasing demand of electricity, especially during peak hours. Where can we buy power if the Mindanao grid is lacking in supply?” asked Baguio. Baguio said a number of new power players are coming in but their commercial operations might start two to three years later. At this time, we can only pray that the existing power plants do not bog down so we can have a steady supply of electricity,” he said in local dialect.

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