Visayas power problems over – PGMA

March 5, 2010 11:14 pm 

TOLEDO CITY, March 5 – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, after inaugurating here Friday a new 82-megawatt coal-fired power plant, said the Visayas power problem is over and the region will no longer “import power from Luzon.”

The Visayas power grid, which has been suffering from power shortages of about 45 megawatts (MW), may even be an exporter of power soon to Luzon, the President suggested.

“With the inauguration today of the first unit of 82-megawatt (MW) coal power plant, the whole of the Visayas will now meet its power needs, a little more than it needs," the President said in her message at the ceremonial switch-on of Cebu Energy Development Corp.’s (CEDC) coal-fired power plant.

The President said the additional power "signals the end to rotating brownouts” in the Visayas and marks the end of importing power from Luzon, which is "also burdened with its huge power requirement."

She said that with the commissioning of two other CEDC units by the end of May and December this year and the synchronization of the Panay Energy Corp's. 164 MW power plant in La Paz, Iloilo, with the 200 MW coal-fired plant of Korea Power Corp. – Salcon Power Corp. (Kepco-SPC) in Naga City in Cebu, the region will be an exporter of power to Luzon.

Two years ago, CEDC invested $ 450 million or P3 billion on a three unit coal power plant here that can generate a total of 246 MW.

The project is a joint venture of Global Business Power Corp., the power arm of the Metrobank Group, Formosa Heavy Industries Corp, Aboitiz Power Corp., and Vivant Power Corp.

At the same time, the President congratulated CEDC for constructing an environment-friendly clean coal power plant that uses state-of-the-art circulating fluidized bed technology for clean coal technology, ensuring that emission levels are well within the standards set by the Clean Air Act.

The President hailed CEDC for embarking on a reforestation program with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the City of Toledo. She witnessed today the signing of a memorandum of agreement on tree planting, which allocates 100 hectares for home-managed reforestation program.

"This will make this power plant more carbon neutral," the President noted.

Meanwhile, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Charito Planas on Friday urged Filipinos to do their share in conserving water and electricity. “As a nation, we must come together and shout out our suggestions on how to help the government resolve our problems,” she said.

In a press briefing, Planas said “everyone, not just the politicians, must stop blaming the government for these problems. No one created these problems and no one wants to have these problems around.”

Planas advised big businesses, which can afford to buy generator sets (gensets), “to reduce their usage from the main grid so that whatever will be left can be enjoyed by the greater majority of people.”

She said hotels and restaurants must serve water only upon request so that nothing will go to waste. For households, people must learn to reuse water for cleaning their homes, yards, and bathrooms.

Planas said Palace lawyers are now looking at ways allowed under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 to resolve the power crisis in Mindanao and elsewhere in the country.

Planas lauded the proposals of Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez (2nd district) to grant the President emergency power in the light of the power crisis and Agusan del Sur Rep. Rodolfo Plaza to call barangay elections so that the P2.24 billion earmarked for it may be allocated to programs designed to address the El Nino. (PNA) LAP/OPS/utb

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