Alsons 100-MW Zambo plant ‘back to normal’

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AFTER cutting power output by half last Friday due to lack of fuel, the 100-megawatt (MW) diesel plant of Western Mindanao Power Corp. (WMPC) in Sangali, Zamboanga City has resumed normal operations.

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According to Joseph Nocos, vice president for business development of Alsons Consolidated Resources Inc. (ACRI), the parent firm of WMPC, the plant’s operation was normalized on Sunday.

Alsons was forced to cut the power plant’s capacity by 50 percent last Friday after its fuel inventory reached a critical level, which was attributed to a delay in fuel delivery by state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM).

The company said it was notified by PSALM of the delay in fuel delivery due to “some hitches in [their]procurement process that were beyond [their]control.”

Nocos said the two units of the plant are still under maintenance but are expected to be back on line within the day.

“We are now back to normal operation except two units which are currently being maintained and expected to be back within today,” Nocos told The Manila Times in a text message.

PSALM explained that its new fuel supplier encountered some problems with the Bureau of Customs (BoC) in the release of the fuel.

“As a stop-gap measure, the supplier resorted to tank truck deliveries which are not enough to sustain the plant requirements,” it said. PSALM said the supplier’s barge was scheduled to arrive at the WMPC Port on Saturday with a load of 3,900 kL (kiloliters).

Under the existing Energy Conversion Agreement between WMPC and National Power Corporation (NPC) with PSALM, the latter has the responsibility of supplying and delivering the fuel required for the operations of the WMPC diesel plant.

The agreement also requires NPC/PSALM to ensure at all times that the necessary stocks of fuel required by the plant will be made available.

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