AboitizPower, Cotelco ink power supply deal

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/13 April) –Aboitiz-owned Therma South, Inc. and the Cotabato Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Cotelco) forged Friday an energy supply agreement  (ESA) for distribution to the P-Palma Area, which covers six towns in North Cotabato.

Therma South is building a 300-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Toril, Davao City, which is expected to go on stream in 2015.

Under the contract, Therma South will supply the Cotelco P-Palma Area with five MW once the power plant is completed.

Felix Canja, general manager of Cotelco P-Palma Area, and Rodolfo Cabiles Jr., board president of Cotelco, led the ESA signing, which took place inside the main Cotelco headquarters in Matalam town, at around 11 a.m. Friday.

Benedict Salvador, area manager for Mindanao of Aboitiz Power Corp, represented the company.

Therma South is a wholly-owned subsidiary of AboitizPower, one of the largest power generation companies in the country.

Canja said that Cotelco P-Palma Area, which serves at least 30,000 consumers, is getting just 3.8 MW from the National Power Corp. this April, below the area’s peak power demand of 10 to 11 MW.

“We’re short of six to seven MW, which translates to eight to nine hours of brownouts daily,” he said.

The P-Palma Area covers the towns of Pigcawayan, Pikit, Aleosan, Libungan, Midsayap, and Alamada.

The Cotelco-Main, which covers 11 towns and this city, had signed an ESA with Therma South in December 2012.

Canja said the ESA with Therma South would address the worsening power situation in the P-Palma Area once the coal plant  starts operation expectedly in June 2015.

Canja said they welcome the criticisms from the power consumers as a result of the long brownouts the cooperative has been experiencing since February.

“This is not, of course, our fault.   We are just buying power from the source.   Since there is not enough supply of power, we were given only part of the electricity being generated,” said Canja.

The co-op is hopeful the energy crisis would be reduced once AboitizPower and the other power players completed the construction of their power plants in 2015. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)