Zamboanga enjoys zero blackout this Christmas

ZAMBOANGA -- Residents of Zamboanga City will have a bright Christmas this year, as the seven-hour blackout woes ended Sunday.

Omar Sahi, Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (Zamcelco) president, said the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has approved the Power Sales Agreement (PSA) entered into by Zamcelco and the Western Mindanao Power Corporation (WMPC).

The PSA, which will be effective for 10 years or until 2025, involved the purchase of 50 megawatts (MW) by Zamcelco from WMPC of the Alson Power Group.

Sahi said the ERC approved the PSA on Friday, December 11.

The WMPC maintains a 100-MW diesel-fired power plant in the village of Sangali.

“The zero blackout is our Christmas gift to the Zamboangueños,” Sahi said, citing first district Representative Celso Lobregat was instrumental to the PSA approval by the ERC.

Sahi said they have tapped the assistance of Lobregat in following up the PSA approval with the ERC.

Alsons Power Group Vice President and Business Manager for diesel operations Edgar Sevilles said they started supplying power to Zamcelco Sunday, hours after WMPC’s 18-year PSA with the National Power Corporation (Napocor) expired on Saturday.

Sahi said Zamcelco will have sufficient power to meet its peak load demand of 85-MW with the approval of the PSA between the cooperative and WMPC.

He said that at present, Zamcelco is being supplied by the Napocor and two Independent Power Producers (IPPs), namely, Therma Marine Inc. (TMI) and Mapalad Power Corporation (MPC).

He said Zamcelco has a power deficit of 29-MW since the cooperative is receiving only a total 56-MW from the three power suppliers, thus the seven-hour daily rotational blackout.

He said Napocor supplies Zamcelco 20-MW, while TMI provides 18-MW and MPC also 18-MW.

The approval of the PSA is timely since Zamcelco has a projected peak demand of 95.3-MW in 2016, according to Sahi. (Sunnex)

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