Power shortage in Cebu to ease with additional supply, Philippines

Power shortage in Cebu to ease with additional supply, Philippines
Published: 13 November 2009

Power shortage in Cebu is expected to ease when the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) gives the Visayan Electric Company (Veco) provisional authority to get additional power from a cement company.

Arlo Sarmiento, Veco vice president for utility economics, said by December, they will get an additional 10 megawatts from Cemex to ease the worsening power conditions in Cebu.

The deal, though, is subject to ERC approval.

But ERC Vsayas officer-in-charge Joel Bontuyan said the commission will give it the go-ahead.

Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia met with power players hoping to solve the power crisis in Cebu, which now experiences rotational brownouts.

Veco also incorporated in its presentation that it will also get 35MW from the Cebu Energy Development Corp. in March and another 35MW in June.

Veco said it experienced severe curtailment last- month due to maintenance problems on its end and on National Power Corp.’s (Napocor) plants, which were down and the National Transmission Corp. maintenance interruptions.

Garcia called the responsible agencies and corporations to a meeting in a bid to spare Cebu from more power outages.

The Veco presentation hinted that some private companies have stopped doing their share in the “interruptible load” agreement wherein the companies would use their power generators during peak hours rather than contest for the supply of Veco power.

While this is a voluntary commitment on their part, Garcia said she will call on the companies not to turn their backs on their commitment.

The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) reported that since the supply from the Cebu-Negros-Panay grid could not satisfy the demand, it had to ask for additional supply from Luzon.

In Cebu alone, the average growth rate for power demand this year is 10.9 percent.

Critical months, reported the NGCP, are December, February and March.