The One Bohol Power (1BP) Long-Term Power Supply Joint Selection Process has targeted December 26, 2023 or earlier as the start of commercial operation of a single In-island power plant located in Bohol.
The transaction design for the setting up of the long-awaited power plant was unveiled during a Partners Forum hosted by the Province of Bohol and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) at Amorita Resort in Panglao, Bohol on Saturday.
AFFORDABLE AND RESILIENT
The transaction objectives are mainly anchored on two major factors – least cost (affordable and competitive) and resiliency during power islanding which will serve as the parameters in the procurement of power supply by the three distribution utilities operating in the province.
The timetable for the operation of the power plant in the province has been driven by the urgency of a power supply shortfall estimated at 30 megawatts (mW) until the 2023 despite the presence of the 26mW power barge, the uncertainty of the present source of power supply from Leyte, the still to be started submarine cable from Cebu to Loon and the rising demand for electricity hitting 180 mW by 2040.
According to University of the Philippines Professor Rowaldo del Mundo, Team leader of the United States Agency for International Development Advancing Philippine Competitiveness Project (USAID-Compete), the province power demand will rise from the present 80 mW peak demand to 180mW by 2043 as forecasted by the Bohol Energy Development Advisory Group Technical Working Group (BEDAG-TWG).
“This projected demand does not include the rising need for power to support the increase tourism development and the operation of the New Bohol Panglao Airport”, added Del Mundo.
Bohol Electric Cooperative 1 and 2 (Boheco) and the Bohol Light Company Incorporated (BLCI) through a memorandum of agreement signed during the Partners Forum has committed to implement the Bohol Island Power Development Plan (BIPDP) “towards affordability of electricity rates and resiliency of power supply in Bohol”.
An added prerequisite for generation companies (gencos) interested to put up a power plant in Bohol is to come up with an innovative solution to isolate the province from the traumatic experience of a power outage similar to the devastating typhoon Yolanda that smashed into Leyte province in 2013 severely disrupting power supply for weeks and the July 2017 6.5 magnitude earthquake that paralyzed geothermal power plants in Leyte.
Dependent on the geothermal plants operating in Leyte, the island of Bohol has been suffering from debilitating power outages despite being spared from natural calamities that were experienced by its neighboring province.
“Resiliency” or the ability to recover quickly from calamities was the operative term for gencos interested to bid for the operation of a power plant in Bohol.
Interested investors for the power plant project in Bohol are open for thermal plants, hydro and solar with storage capacity.
With the expiration of the joint short and medium term power supply agreements contracted by Boheco 1 and 2 with First Gen and GN Power on December 24, 2023, the need for a stable power supply was considered in the crafting of the BPDP.
The innovative One Bohol Power Joint Power Supply Procurement by the two electric cooperatives in Bohol has lowered electricity rates by as much as 30%, according to Professor del Mundo.
According to the BEDAG, the uncontracted baseload demand in 2024 has been forecasted at 118 mW with 95 mW for baseload and 23 mW for peaking.
Baseload demand is referred as the minimum amount of power that a generation company must make available to its customers while peak load is the demand for electricity during high demand.
Governor Edgar Chatto expressed on behalf of the Province of Bohol his deepest gratitude to the Advancing Philippine Competitiveness Project (COMPETE) team for their continued support of the development projects in Bohol. (Chito M. Visarra)