Osmeña bares 'dumbest' oversight in power crisis

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 13 2015 02:56 PM | Updated as of Mar 13 2015 10:59 PM

500MW from Japanese power plant available this summer

MANILA – The chances of rolling brownouts this summer have decreased due to additional sources of power, Senator Serge Osmena said on Friday.

Osmena, who is also the chairman of the Senate committee on energy, said he was able to help facilitate the sourcing of an additional 500 megawatts from a Japanese power plant facility in Lake Caliraya in Laguna to help address the deficit in power reserves.

“They built 750 megawatts and they've been only using, as of last summer, 200 megawatts. So I said, my God, this is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen. It’s like you have a 747 [plane] na nakaparada, nasa loob ng hangar, at hindi mo sinilip. Pwede gamitin ‘yan,” the senator told ANC.

Aside from this additional 500 megawatts, nearly 1,000 MW can be sourced from the interruptible load program (ILP).

The ILP is one of the measures that is expected to help address the power supply shortage this summer.

Under the program, large industrial and commercial customers of the Manila Electric Corp. (Meralco) that consume more than 1 MW are expected to use their own generators to free up electricity in the residential areas.

However, Osmena said this still does not guarantee that there will be no brownouts, and he cautions against thinking there is now an oversupply of electricity.

“Everything's relative. Kapag bumagsak ang dalawang malaking planta or nagkaroon ng typhoon o pumutok ‘yung isang transmission, wala tayong magagawa. That’s what they call ‘act of God.’ But definitely the chances of a rolling brownout on two or three days before was about 30 percent, now, it's down to 10 percent,” he said.

Osmena added that the cost of the ILP that will be passed on to consumers will be minimal.

He believes that some sectors may be blowing the issue out of proportion to cover up the Mamasapano issue. -- With ANC