THE National Electrification Administration (NEA) has decided to guarantee the power supply agreements (PSA) of three electric cooperatives (ECs) in Mindoro to help the island attain reliable and sustainable energy.
The NEA guaranteed PSAs entered into by Occidental Mindoro Electric Cooperative Inc. (OMECO), Mindoro Geothermal Power Corp. (MGPC) and Occidental Mindoro Consolidated Power Corp. (OMCPC) with independent power suppliers or generators.
The PSA guarantee for OMECO is the first such guarantee the NEA released under its new charter, Republic Act 10531, also known as the “National Electrification Administration Reform Act of 2013.”
The NEA is mandated to implement the government’s rural electrification program and may act as guarantor for the electric cooperatives’ power purchase transactions with independent power suppliers.
Toward this end, the agency has developed a credit guarantee program and facility for the ECs. This is to establish a power supply guarantee to secure the power purchase of qualified ECs in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market or with generation companies.
“NEA is supportive of all endeavors to ensure reliability of power supply for the electric cooperatives to serve better their member-consumers,” NEA Administrator Edita Bueno said.
“A stable power supply will redound to better electricity service, more livelihood opportunities and improved quality of lives for the people of Occidental Mindoro,” Bueno said.
In a ceremonial signing held at the NEA head office on January 7, 2016, OMECO acting president Rodolfo Plopinio expressed their consumers’ gratitude to NEA for approving the PSA guarantee which, he said, was key to ending their electricity woes.
“We have been praying for this for over a year now. We thank the NEA administrator for understanding how our problems with energy supply has adversely affected the lives of our 65,000 consumers,” said Plopinio.
Occidental Mindoro’s capital town of San Jose was once dubbed as the “Blackout Capital of the Philippines” due to power outages that lasted six to 12 hours a day. The entire province has endured power outages over the past few years due to inadequate power supply and disconnection from the main grid.
Insufficient energy supply has not only affected the daily lives of its consumers, but has also hampered local business activities, thereby slowing economic growth in the province.
OMCPC is constructing a 20-megawatt (MW) diesel power plant while MGPC, a subsidiary of renewable energy company Emerging Power, Inc. (EPI), is building a 40-MW geothermal power plant in Naujan, Oriental Mindoro. The project is expected to begin commercial operation by 2017 and will be able to supply electricity to more than 250,000 homes in Oriental and Occidental Mindoro.
Meanwhile, EPI president Martin Antonio Zamora also thanked NEA for signing the PSA guarantee and vowed that the company will continue to develop more renewable energy projects in the future.
“We fully support initiatives of the private sector, government and electric cooperatives to attain stable and clean energy with lower electricity rates,” he added.
EPI is majority owned by Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC), one of the country’s biggest mining firms. NAC has guaranteed the loan facility of EPI for up to P3 billion over a three-year period to finance the company’s RE projects all over the country.