(PN File)

The Palawan Electric Cooperative (PALECO) has asked the Department of Energy for a green light in conducting a bidding for additional power supply specifically for El Nido and the Palawan main grid.

Engr. Rogelio Baylon Jr. of the Technical Services Department on Monday said PALECO is waiting for the Department of Energy (DOE) to approve the terms of reference and issuance of notice to proceed (NTP) for the construction of a 20-megawatt (MW) power plant for its the main grid and 10-MW plant for El Nido.

He added that the electric cooperative has been pushing for the competitive bidding since last year, emphasizing that a bidding should be conducted immediately or before their existing supply contracts end.

“Dapat talaga ma-go na ‘yong bidding natin para kahit papaano meron tayong enough power sa kakulangan natin. Alarming na talaga kaya nga sa side namin, minamadali na namin si DOE lalo na si chairman talagang pinupukpok niya na ‘yong higher agency para i-release ang terms of reference at ma-i-run ‘yong NTP,” Baylon said.

He also said that the demand load now has hit 58.8 MW, just a little below the contracted capacity of 60.2 MW. The reserve load is only good if other power plants will not face any problems.

“Hoping na mabigyan na siya ng NTP dahil mauubusan na kami ng oras, pa-end of contract na ‘yong kabilang planta ‘yong PPGI by 2025. Then the construction of power plant is almost two years din ‘yan so hoping na makapag-bidding na kami, since during bidding naman, pwede magkaroon ng arrangement ng winner bidder na magkaroon ka muna ng interim mo, paunang supply para mapunan ang pangangailangan,” he said.

“Ang demand last time ay nasa 58.8 megawatt against doon sa ating contracted capacity na 60.2. May reserve pa naman, problema lang, in case na magkaroon ng problema ‘yong ibang power plant, doon tayo kinukulang. Hangga’t lahat sila ay okay, kaya pa ang demand – may instances na hindi talaga kaya, nagkakaroon tayo ng load shedding, last time,” he explained.

Power providers have been advised to perform their maintenance protocols that require them to cut off power supply at night when demand is not critical.

The electric cooperative also advised the big load consumers to anticipate possible load curtailment.

PALECO officer-in-charge general manager Neriza Regal said one of the things which DOE is reviewing now is the procurement plan of PALECO for the CSP. Aside from waiting for the release of NTP by DOE, there are other agencies reviewing their terms of reference, such as National Electrification Administration (NEA) and National Power Corporation (NPC).

“Meron silang mga questions, kasi kailangan magtatama siya sa procurement na tinatawag, dapat ‘yong bidding natin is in accordance sa procurement plan. Sa procurement plan, ina-identify kung sapat ba ‘yong supply at saka ‘yong demand, nagtatama ba? Hindi kami pwede magpa-bid na terms of reference namin ay hindi inaaral ng agencies na ‘yan lalo na ng DOE, NEA,” Regal said.

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is one of the senior reporters of Palawan News. She covers agriculture, business, and different feature stories. Her interests are collecting empty bottles, aesthetic earrings, and anything that is color yellow.