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Gov. Alvarez eyeing to tap excess electricity from Sabah to power Palawan mainland grid

Governor Jose Ch. Alvarez during the blessing and simultaneous inauguration of the three new seaport hubs in the Port of San Fernado in Barangay San Fernando, El Nido on March 19, 2021. | DOTr photo

Palawan governor Jose Alvarez said the P1.9 billion electricity grid project being undertaken by the National Power Corporation (NPC) to finally connect the entire mainland Palawan from Buliluyan in Barataza all the way to El Nido is expected to be finished before the year ends.

Speaking at the inauguration of the three new seaport hubs in Barangay San Fernando in El Nido on Friday (March 19), Governor Alvarez said he is also set to negotiate the purchase by the province of around 100 megawatt of energy from Sabah Electric in Malaysia that will be transported through Buliluyan in Bataraza via a transoceanic grid.

“Ginagawa na ngayon ng NPC. P1.9 billion connection from Buliluyan all the way to El Nido sa ating power grid. Kapag natapos na yon, hopefully, before the end of the year, mapipirmahan ko rin yong agreement after makausap ko yong power provider dito na sila yong bibili noong power galing sa Malaysia,” he said.

Under the plan, Alvarez said he will ask the independent power producers that supply the Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO) to buy the “excess” power of Malaysia to ensure adequate supply for the province. He said Palawan’s electricity rate can be lowered from its current price.

“I will ask them to form a consortium to buy the power from Malaysia, then I will sign — sila ang buyer — then they will sell to PALECO,” he said.

“For example, P4 ang bili nila galing sa Sabah, ibebenta nila sa PALECO ng konting margin nila, siguro bababa ng P9.25 yong ating rate sa buong Palawan,” he added.

He said Sabah Electric has about 600 megawatt of excess power sourced from Kota Kinabalu mountains where it has hydro power plants and gas fields.  He added there is also an available 100 megawatt of energy from Brunei which can be transported to the province in addition from the supply from Malaysia. 

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