Rotational blackouts in Zambo up to 10 hours

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014


THE 130,000 member-consumers of the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (Zamcelco) have to contend with long daily rotational blackouts being implemented by the cooperative.

The daily rotational brownouts have further increased to 10 hours daily starting Tuesday, barely a week after Zamcelco implemented six to eight hours daily outage due to the worsening power situation in the Mindanao grid.

Zamcelco president Omar Sahi said Wednesday that the rotational blackouts have increased to 10 hours daily as the cooperative is only receiving 47 megawatts, which is almost half of its peak-load demand of 85 megawatts (MW).

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Zamcelco gets power from the government-owned Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (Psalm) Corporation and two independent power producers (IPPs) -- Therma Marine, Incorporated (TMI) and the Mapalad Power Corporation (Mapalad).

Sahi said the blackouts have further increased since the power supply from Psalm went down further to 18 MW from the previous of 29 MW. Psalm’s has a contracted power of 54 MW to Zamcelco.

The generating capacity of Psalm further dropped as two of its three turbines were shut down due to the decreasing water level at the Pulangi River in Bukidnon, Sahi said.

He said another factor that affects Psalm’s capacity to generate power is that the repair works have yet to be completed on the two generators of the Steag State Power, Incorporated (SPI).

SPI operates a 210-MW coal-fired power plant in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental.

Sahi said the TMI is only supplying 17 MW out of its 18 MW contracted power to Zamcelco and Mapalad, which also has a contracted power of 18 MW, only generates 12 MW.

He said the generators of the two IPPs gone out of order due to machine “overload.”

He said the two IPPs were supposed to supply electricity to power distributors for 12 hours but have been extended to 17 hours and sometimes to 24 hours daily.

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