Alsons offers short, medium solutions to Zamboanga crisis

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Alsons Consolidated Resources Inc. (ACR), the publicly listed company of the Alcantara Group, has offered an emergency solution to help address the power shortage in Mindanao particularly in Zamboanga City.

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Joseph Nocos, Alsons vice president for Power Unit, said they are considering putting in place a 13 to 20 megawatts (MW) of emergency capacity in the grid.

“What we are doing to help alleviate the problem is that we’ve offered an emergency solution that involved putting in place 13-20 MW of emergency capacity,” Nocos told reporters during a briefing.

The root of the problem in Zamboanga is lack of power supply, which caused rotational brownouts in the city, Nocos said.

He said Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (Zamcelco) was not able to contract enough capacity and its allocation from state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) Corp. has also reduced significantly.

As part of the emergency solution, they have lined-up short and medium term solutions, Nocos said. “We recognized that we are facing a power shortage so we took the initiative of posing a short term solution.”

He said the short-term solution involved offering modular generator sets (gensets) to distribution companies and it would only take six weeks to fully complete their installations.

“What we are working on right now is to find the exact capacity that they need for the short term solution so presumably we can get short term solution in place,” he said.

Based on their contracts with distribution utilities, the price for using gensets per kilowatt-hour (kwh) is between P14 to 16 per kwh, Nocos said.

“The rate impact on customers is around 95 centavos per kwh and for a marginal user it would be 200kwh a month,” he said.

For medium term solution, Nocos said they would provide supply from diesel power plant Western Mindanao Power Corp. (WMPC) starting in January 2016 until such time their coal fired power plant is ready.

He said they have already signed a 50MW medium term contract with WMPC.
“The WMPC and the modular gensets are intended to address the severe power situation Zamboanga City,” Nocos said.

Zamboanga City has been experiencing up to eight-hour power interruption due to the reduction in power generation of some hydro-power plants such as Agus and Pulangi.

The reduction was caused by the receding water level in Lake Lanao because of the dry spell.

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