BEDAG consults stakeholders on power-related issues

The alarming series of unscheduled power outages in the province of Bohol, which have paralyzed the tourism-fueled economy, prompted Governor Edgar Chatto, chairman of the Bohol Energy Development Advisory Group (BEDAG), to call on December 20,2016 for a consultative meeting on power-related issues with various stakeholders that includes the Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry, UP Advisory Council on Bohol Development, Department of Energy and prospective power investors.

Atty. John Titus Vistal, Provincial Planning and Development Coordinator, first presented the history of events that led to the creation of BEDAG. Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) made a landfall in Leyte in November 2013 that toppled transmission towers connecting Bohol to the main Visayas grid, which resulted to a month-long, province-wide power outage.

Gov. Edgar Chatto then issued Executive Order No. 1, series of 2014, creating the high-level Bohol Energy Development Advisory Group (BEDAG). BEDAG is a multi-sector group composed of various representatives from LGU, Private Sector, Academe, National Grid Corp. of the Phil., local Distribution Utilities (BOHECO I, BOHECO II, BLCI).

Engr. Algerico Siga of BOHECO I presented the Power Supply Plan for Bohol, which was an output of the BEDAG Technical Working Group after a series of workshops in 2015 and 2016.

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) representative also presented the Cebu-Bohol Interconnection Project for the information of the stakeholders and BEDAG members.

Dr. Rene Rollon, member of the UP Advisory Council, discussed on the merits of coal power plant and liquefied natural gas power plant. He stressed the importance of environmental impact caused by emission from the plant. He said that a coal power plant is safer compared to a nuclear power plant.

Investors for a coal power plant presented their proposals, namely: SMC Global Power Holdings, GN Power Ltd. Company and Global Business Power Corporation.

For Liquefied Natural Gas power plant, the interested investors who presented were Clean N Green Energy Solutions, Inc. and Entry Point Partners.

Engr. Tito Andamon of 1 Bohol Power presented the Competitive Selection Process for the information of power investors.

USec Posadas of the Department of Energy commented that the time to process permits and other necessary documents to operate a power plant must be streamlined and that there is a need to turn energy projects into national significance at the President’s level. He mentioned about the issue on cost optimization where there should be proper energy mix.

Governor Chatto remarked that the government is only a facilitating entity and that actual procurement is done by 1 Bohol Power.

Prof. Cesar Saloma of the UP Advisory Council commented that there is a need for accurate electric demand including answering the following questions: How will the power mix be done? What are the sources and pricing? How many percentage should be coal, gas, solar, etc.? What is the projection over the 20-year period and the period of conceptualization?

Provincial Administrator Alfonso Damalerio II informed the BEDAG and power investors on the terms of reference, schedules and actions to be done in 2017.

National Renewable Energy Board (NREB) Chair Layug commented that there are realities to accept such as: the sun is not up 24/7; the wind is not 24 hours; there are baseload requirements; the bill is drafted for the Competitive Selection Process, which should specify if renewable energy, coal or gas). He said that he is supporting Bohol in its pro-renewable power stance and is encouraging solar and wind companies to submit their bids.

In summary, Governor Chatto said that NGCP will file the application for Cebu-Bohol Interconnection Project, BEDAG will adopt the modified scheduling, timetables will be furnished the members and power investors, and power in Bohol is contracted up to 2023.

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