by Jemin B. Guillermo, PIA
Roxas City (1 March) -- The onset of the dry spell due to the El Niño phenomenon has affected both water and electric power supply. Capiz Electric Cooperative (CAPELCO) Information Officer Kenneth Emmanuel Tipon disclosed that the load shedding in the province is caused by the power supply that came from the power plant either in Cebu, Negros or Leyte.
Tipon said that so far, there is still adequate power supply for their Capiceños, however, there are times when load shedding is implemented due to some problem in the power supply sources.
Earlier, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo had announced that the 246-megawatt (MW) power plant of Cebu Energy Development Corp. (CEDC) in Toledo, Cebu will be operational this month.
The initiative is in response to the rotating brownouts that are being experienced in the Visayas, the President said.
Provinces in the region have been experiencing rotating power outages lasting up to two hours a day, causing work stoppages and inadvertent loss of income for businesses and individuals due to the shutdown for maintenance of the 60MW Unit 1 of the Mahnagdong geothermal plant in Leyte and the 50MW Cebu Thermal Power Plant 1.
These outages have, however, begun to ease over the last two weeks, with an additional 510MW entering the Visayas grid this year.
Accordingly, the CEDC's $450-million coal-fired power plant is a joint venture among Global Business Power Corp. (GBPC), the power arm of the Metrobank group, Formosa Heavy Industries Corp., Aboitiz Power Corp., and Vivant Power Corp.
The first unit will be operational this month while the second and third units will be functional in June and October, respectively, this year.
On its own, GBPC is also investing $312 million for a 64-MW plant in Toledo. A subsidiary, Panay Energy Development Corp., will put up a 164MW unit in La Paz, Iloilo.
On the other hand, a $520-million 200MW coal-fired plant built by Korea Power Corp.-Salcon Power Corp. (Kepco-SPC) in Naga City will be on stream this year.
Meanwhile, Tipon has urged Capiceños to conserve energy amidst the power shortage in some other parts of the country.
He said that the public can help in power conservation by unplugging unused appliances, putting off unnecessary lights and avoiding too much use of electricity during peak hours.
In addition, Tipon reminded the public to avoid octopus connections to avoid fire due to short circuit connections.
He also urged Capiceños to buy only quality standard or specified electrical materials as well as engage the services of licensed electricians for electrical installations to avoid fire problems which resulted from using substandard electrical materials.