MANILA — Sunwest Water and Electric Co. Inc. (SUWECO) and First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative Inc. (FICELCO) on Wednesday signed an additional power supply agreement to address the 12-hour rotating power outages in Catanduanes.
In a briefing after the signing of the agreement at Midas Hotel in Pasay City, SUWECO Chairman Elizaldy S. Co said they will invest some P125 million to put up a five megawatt (MW) diesel power plant, which is targeted to start operations by December 2014 and will be the source of additional supply.
He said they are now awaiting approval from the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) but is already in the process of acquiring generator sets to be used for the diesel plant.
“SUWECO is taking a proactive role in finding solutions to a serious problem due to unreliable power supply from other third party suppliers in the province. Thus, we revisited and amended our earlier Power Supply Agreement to augment the efficiency of our existing operational hydropower plants in the area,” he said.
To date, SUWECO have two mini-hydro power plants in Catanduanes with a total of 3.6MW capacity, which is being supplied to FICELCO since June 2007.
Co said the province’s total electricity requirement is about 5 MW, which could be fully provided if the other power generators in the area are able to provide their supposed capacity.
He, however, said that because the other power supply providers are not operating 24/7 due to problems in their ageing power plants, power outages are being experienced.
”With this additional supply this will be sufficient enough to supply the province. In the next five years I don’t think we will have power outages,” he added.