Power situation in Mindanao improved due to stopgap measure of DOE


Fewer electric cooperatives are experiencing power outages now after the issuance of a Department Circular (DC) that aims to rationalize the power supply in the region.
The Department of Energy (DOE) stresses that not all areas in Mindanao have power outages such as the areas of Cotabato, Panabo, Cagayan de Oro, Iligan, and Davao. With the issuance of the Circular, areas not experiencing interruptions now include Malaybalay, Dipolog, Dapitan, Valencia, Camiguin, Panabo, Digos, Tagum, Mati, Cotabato, Surigao, Butuan, and Cabadbaran.
This is a result of the issuance of a stopgap measure last month, DC 2012-03-0004, which directs electric cooperatives to nominate their needed power to supply their demands. This now results to less power outage for provinces in Mindanao and current power supply deficit of 100–160 MW from 360 MW during the previous months. However, the DOE continues to monitor its implementation to ensure strict compliance to the Circular among stakeholders.
Alongside this measure, the DOE is also evaluating other solutions such as the operation of the Iligan Diesel Power Plant, which will be able to produce an initial power of 15–20 MW that may increase upon rehabilitation, and the improvements of the Agus and Pulangui hydropower plants. The Pulangui plant will be rehabilitated this month, and the DOE is already studying ways on how to mitigate its effect on the power supply. The Agus plant, however, will be rehabilitated in June.
Power situation in Mindanao is also expected to improve as electric cooperatives get provisional authorities for the bilateral power service by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). To date, electric cooperatives have already contracted an aggregate total of 192 MW, of which around 20 MW is still subject to ERC’s issuance of provisional authority.
“We hope that electric cooperatives, power generators, and all other stakeholders will continue to cooperate to temporarily address the power situation in Mindanao, and this will be a good start towards a long-term measure needed to provide a stable power supply in the region,” Secretary Rene Almendras said.
The DOE will conduct a stakeholders’ meeting on April 3, 2012 to address the local concerns of the people in Mindanao. The meeting will be held at the Grand Regal Hotel in Davao City.