Bohol is truly serious in its ambitious energy development program that the bidding-procurement of the island-based large-scale power generation plant is to be done this year, according to the industry keyplayers.
The construction of the big-capacity facilities right in Bohol for reliable and sustainable long-term supply of electricity in the province is pursued only in this administration of Gov. Edgar Chatto.
This explains why the governor created the Bohol Energy Development Advisory Group (BEDAG), which is now finalizing an agreement crucial and leading to the concrete achievement of the aggressive agenda.
Engr. Algerico Siga of the Bohol Electric Cooperative I (BOHECO I) yesterday said they are bullish that the bidding and procurement process of the project is done this year.
There is no problem with the investors because they are many and so interested, said Siga who sits in the BEDAG Technical Working Group.
Bohol’s three power distribution utilities (DUs) are now to “agree to go as one” for an aggregate power supply purchase deal that does entice the power developers to build facilities in Bohol.
The DUs are the BOHECO I and II and Bohol Light Company, Inc. (BLCUI).
As “One Bohol Power,” the three will negotiate as one to procure power in bulk and competitive or cheaper price.
Siga said they are now finalizing the memorandum of agreement (MOA) “as one” involving the Boheco I under Gen. Man. Dino Nicolas Roxas; Boheco II, Gen. Man. Eugene Tan; and BLCI Gen Man. Eulogio Signe.
Within this month, the BLCI will meet on some remaining terms and issues that need to be “ironed out.”
The local industry keyplayers are foreseeing the bid invitation to be published in August so that the open bidding can follow.
Siga said once the bidding and procurement process for the aggregate power supply purchase is done, the winning power supplier or consortium of suppliers is expected to start constructing the power generation plant in 2018 or 2019.
The separate existing contracts of the BOHECOs and BLCI with their respective suppliers will expire in 2023.
Even if the province already has a long-term energy development masterplan, no big-time power developer is investing immediately, industry sources asserted.
This is for obvious reason that the supply contracts of the three DUs with their respective existing suppliers have still years before expiration.
Any huge power plant built now has, therefore, no buyer of the electricity it generates.
By 2023, the construction of the large-scale power plant will be already completed for operation and supply, under a new aggregate supply contract, to all the three Bohol distribution utilities in 2024, Siga said.
He said also by that time, Bohol’s peak load demand will reach 115 megawatts as against the current requirement of 78 megawatts only.
On the other hand, the Cebu-Bohol power interconnection is targeted for completion in 2020, but the governor has strongly lobbied for an earlier time in 2019.
The investors of the Bohol island-based power facilities are likewise anticipating this development.
This is because the electricity they produce in excess of the supply to the three DUs—or in excess of the Bohol demand—will be transmitted through the interconnection for sale outside.
CHATTO MOVES FOR
As soon as the power blackout hit Bohol island resulting from earthquake-damaged Leyte power source facilities late Thursday afternoon, Chatto “burned lines” from Canada to address the emergency concern back home.
The governor directed Acting Provincial Administrator John Mitchel Boiser to convene the BEDAG Friday morning and work on options that could immediately provide emergency electricity to Tagbilaran City and other possible Bohol areas.
One of the options was to ask the owning company of the Bohol Diesel Power Plant (BDPP) in Dampas in the city to supply emergency power, subject to the approval of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), while the Leyte restoration works would yet take long.
Another alternative is to bring to Bohol a stand-by power barge in Mactan that could generate only 20 megawatts or the 32-megawatt power barge in Davao.
On Chatto’s instruction, Provincial Administrator Alfonso Damalerio II called his younger brother, Board Member Abeleon Damalerio, to cause a Sangguniang Panlalawigan resolution authorizing Vice Gov. Dionisio Balite, who was the acting governor, to represent the province to necessary agreements.
The provincial board also asked the ERC to expedite action on the request of Bohol.
During the BEDAG meeting, Damalerio (Alfonso) also called City Mayor John Geesnell Yap II and Vice Mayor Jose Antonio Veloso, who is the Sangguniang Panlungsod presiding officer, to pass similar resolutions.
Damalerio has not yet reassumed as provincial administrator, but he attended the BEDAG meeting as a “private sector volunteer” in the wake of the energy crisis.
While in Canada, Chatto also constantly contacted Department of Energy (DOE) Sec. Alfonso Cusi and the ERC until the governor got the assurance of “go signal” to use of the Dampas power plant starting Friday night—and of the assignment of power barge to Bohol.
The governor finally coordinated with the energy secretary, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Salem Quiwag and Cortes Mayor Iven Lim for the use of the Abatan river barge mooring facility of the Napocor.
The power barge is necessary to restore power in Bohol while the Leyte power system, which interconnection is presently the main source of power here, is yet to be fully rehabilitated.
Further on the governor’s instruction, Damalerio contacted the general manager of Salcon, which is a part-owner of the Dampas power plant.
Damalerio likewise asked Alturas’ owner Marlito Uy, who happened to be in Manila, to help ask Salcon President Dennis Villareal so that the BDPP could be used soonest possible. Uy and Villareal are friends.
Early Friday evening, Villareal called Damalerio to check if the Dampas power plant already supplied power to the city. (Ven rebo Arigo)