The recent power price hike has prompted 2nd District Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado to pick up where he earlier left off and renegotiate with partners Santa Clara Power Corporation and the Ayala Group to pursue again their previous Cantakoy hydroelectric power project in Danao town.
Aumentado said his efforts to push for the project’s resumption would be his “little contribution” to ease the current power crisis in Bohol.
He said Cantakoy can augment the power “imported” from the Tongonan Geothermal Plant in Leyte by eight to 10 megawatts.
According to Aumentado, had the Cantakoy hydro project not been aborted, this would have been operational by now.
Bohol has recently been plagued with higher-than-normal electricity rates due to congestion in the submarine cable through which the geothermal power from Leyte, Bohol’s main electricity source, is brought to the province.
Since Leyte has a cap in the electricity it can send over, Bohol’s distribution utilities (DUs) have to purchase additional power elsewhere – the Wholesale Electricity Stock Market (WESM), which offers power supply at higher rates.
Moreover, power consumers in Bohol were charged for the total consumption power demand and not on the excess power demand.
As early as 2008, the solon’s namesake father, immediate congressional predecessor, former congressman and former governor Erico Boyles Aumentado already foresaw an impending power crisis in Bohol. He had said that with no power source other than Leyte tapped, especially with the then-impending operation of the airport in Panglao and its attendant increase in tourism-related businesses, a shortage loomed.
He convinced Santa Clara and Ayala to put up the Cantakoy hydro, but after his third and last term as governor ended, the project found no support from the next administration.
Established in 2003, Sta. Clara is a Manduluyong-based power-producing company that focuses on hdyro power plant development. It operates as a subsidiary of Sta. Clara International Corporation.
Meanwhile, the younger Aumentado thanked Gov. Arthur Yap for the respite in the burdensome WESM charges. The governor last week met with national power authorities at the office of the Energy Regulation Commission in Pasig City resulting in a “downward adjustment” of the monthly electricity bills.
Aumentado however said that unless a more permanent solution is set in place such as establishing a power transmission line from Cebu to Bohol, the power problem in Bohol will only get worse. (June S. Blanco)