MANILA, Philippines – The Mindanao Development Authority (MinDa), part of the government committee monitoring the power situation in Mindanao, has warned that the power situation in the island could go back to critical levels by next month as some plants shut down for scheduled maintenance activities.
“After seeing capacity improvements in recent months, Mindanao’s power supply is expected to revert to precarious supply scenario by August to October, when some major power plants go on scheduled maintenance shutdown,” said MinDa director for investment promotion and public affairs Romeo Montenegro.
Mindanao experienced rotating outages during the summer months, lasting up to 10 hours, depending on the area.
Montenegro said the issuance of Executive Order 137 mandating the implementation of the Mindanao Modular Generator Sets Program would help avert another critical power situation in the region.
He said the EO would firm up and fasttrack the process of assisting electric coops through the Association of Mindanao Rural Electric Cooperatives (Amreco).
Under the EO-mandated program, electric cooperatives would generate the capacities they need either via rental or acquisition option.
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The Mindanao Power Monitoring Committee (MPMC), co-chaired by MinDA and the Department of Energy, early this year backed the proposal to tap modular generator sets as an immediate measure for electric cooperatives in bridging supply gap for the next two years.
The MPMC is the interagency committee tasked to monitor the power situation in Mindanao.
“This latest directive manifests the strong commitment of President Aquino to resolve the Mindanao power situation, particularly in addressing the current supply shortfall until new power plants are on stream by 2015,” Montenegro said.
MPMC expects additional capacities to be generated from the implementation of the Interruptible Load Program (ILP) and the establishment of Interim Mindanao Electricity Market (IMEM) to also help augment power supply in the region.
These gensets would aid electric cooperatives in addressing the power supply crunch in the island, according to the EO signed on July 12.
The energy department earlier approved the use of roughly P4.5 billion from the Malampaya funds as loans to the Mindanao-based cooperatives to be administered by National Electrification Administration (NEA).