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Decision needed for national grid connection - Transco

Davao City (7 December) -- The government has to make a decision by 2006 on the proposal for connecting Mindanao to the National Grid to save the people of the island from power load shedding that is likely to happen four years after.

National Transmission Corporation(TransCo) project management vice president Dominador Geonzon said there has to be a decision by next year to save Mindanao on a power deficit that it will face starting 2008.

Genzon explained that even with the Maramag-Bunawan 230 KV transmission line project and the operation Tagoloan hydro and Sultan Kudarat coal fire plant there will still be a deficit in power supply.

When the Leyte-Mindanao interconnection project gets a nod from government, construction has to proceed in 2010 in order to shield the public from 2-3 hour daily brownouts.

"A projected deficit is seen by 2008 without the interconnection as there will be no new carrying capacity," he said.

He said it will take government four years to put up a new capacity and in its absence will put Mindanao in critical situation.

"We could implement measures like deployment of power barges but this is just temporary," he said.

He said the critical level of the water in Lake Lanao has also to be considered besides the hydropower plant in Iligan is already old and needs rehabilitation.

When this will happen there will be automatic power load shedding and power outages will occur, he said.

"I don't think we go back to the 1983 scenario when the water level of Lake Lanao was very low resulting to the scheduling of power distribution in the whole area of Mindanao," he said.

He said they foresee a growth between five to six percent and power requirement will change dramatically within the next five years because of the East Asian Growth Triangle.

He said in the southeastern portion of Mindanao they expect power demand to increase from 47 percent to 50 percent within three to five years.

"With this development TransCo is there to correct the imbalance because 70 percent of power production comes from the north while majority of the demand is from the south," he said.

He said it would be ideal that a power production plant must be located in the area where the demand of supply is high.

That is why he said TransCo consistently advise interested locators on power investments to put up their project between the areas of the cities of Davao and General Santos.

"Based on our system study the best location is the Davao City area towards General Santos City," he said.

But as far as investors on power plant projects are concerned government must give assurance on the recovery of their investments, he said.

"There has to be an incentive for these investors," Geonzon said. (PIA/pdbanzon) [top]

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