Zambo mayor initiates power summit to address 7-hour daily brownouts

ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanews/10 March) – Mayor Celso Lobregat is initiating a power summit next week  to tackle the power situation extensively and to come up with solutions and contingencies to alleviate the plight of  residents who have had to suffer seven to eight-hour brownouts daily.

“I think it is best that all agencies of government that have to do with power will come to Zamboanga and brief all the sectors about the situation and possibly come up with recommendations and solutions on a temporary, short term, medium-term or longer basis,” he said.

Lobregat said the Zambo Power Summit”  will be attended by representatives of national agencies dealing with power such as the National Electrification Administration, Mindanao Development Authority, Department of Energy, Energy Regulatory Commission, National Grid Power Corporation, Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative.

The mayor said he also called NEA Administrator Edith Bueno and MinDA Chair Secretary Luwalhati Antonino to seek assistance on the power situation in this city.

He said the power crisis is not only affecting this city but the entire Mindanao as well and how it affects each area may be different due to distribution situation in each and every locality.

Zamcelco officer-in-charge Sherwin Mañada said reduced water level in Lake Lanao has caused the power curtailment in Mindanao, now pegged at 170 megawatts (MW).

Mañada said that for the month of March alone the power demand of this city is 79,821-MW and Zamcelco’s contracted supply with the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM)  is 44,342 and 18-MW with Therma Marine Inc. (TMI),  translating to  a power deficiency of 17-MW.

However, Mañada said PSALM can only provide 36-MW, bringing the shortage to over 24-MW. This means at least seven to eight hours blackout in this city due to the decreasing water level in Lake Lanao.

Lobregat said the short term solution includes the implementation of the Interruptible Power Load (IPL).

IPL encourages people or companies with embedded power generators to run their generators when there is power shortage with the incentive of getting reimbursements for the fuel used.

Another measure is to request the owners of  TMI to supply a little bit more than what had been contracted for and another one is to ask PSALM to increase the supply in this city considering the Western Mindanao Power Corporation is located here, he said.

But the long term solution is really to have additional supply of power, the mayor said.  (MindaNews)