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Looming Power Shortage in Bohol
« on: December 03, 2007, 04:23:41 AM »
By June S. Blanco

Bohol has excess power now, but unless new sources are tapped, a shortage looms in as early as three years.

Gov. Erico Aumentado who chairs the Panglao Island Tourism Estate Inter-Agency Task Force (PITE-IATF) Friday invited top officials of the National Power Corp. (NAPOCOR) and the National Transmission Corp. (TRANSCO) to give the lowdown on their respective expansion plans vis-à-vis the drastic need for power when the Panglao Bohol International Airport (PBIA) operationalizes in 2011.

“With the present production, Bohol is in for a serious problem when, aside from the operationalization of the airport, the big tourism industry players like the Bohol Regency Hotel and two Korean investors come in next year, not to mention the expansion of the Bohol Beach Club and other establishments,” Aumentado said.

The airport alone needs 20 megawatts (MW). The Bohol Regency Hotel that straddles Dauis and Panglao towns and starts construction in June 2008 will need power for its 250-300 rooms plus other facilities and amenities. The Koreans will invest in hotels, resorts, spas and golf courses, too, he bared.
NAPOCOR Senior Vice President Silvano Zanoria who flew in from Manila that day reported that Bohol ’s nighttime power demand today stands at 58 MW.

He pegs the production of the Bohol Diesel Power Plant (BDPP) at 18 MW, the Loboc Hydroelectric Plant at 1.2 MW, the Janopol Hydroelectric Plant at 2.5 MW for a sub-total of 21.7 MW.

The Leyte Bohol Interconnection Project (LBIP) contributes a maximum of 100 MW for a total of 121.7 MW. Less the forecast peak demand of 58 MW, the maximum reserve stands at 63.7 MW. Deducting the maintenance reserve, however, leaves a net reserve of only 50.96 MW.

Given the increasing demand, Zanoria said an immediate solution NAPOCOR can offer is the transfer to Bohol of land-based generating sets from Subic in Olongapo City capable of at least 160 MW.
Aside from attending the PITE meeting, Zanoria said he was to inspect that afternoon the foundation for the generating sets at the BDPP in Dampas District in Tagbilaran City.

On the other hand, Vice President Dominador Geonzon of TRANSCO reported that the company’s upgrading project will make more reliable whatever power NAPOCOR produces. TRANSCO takes charge of the transmission of the power generated by NAPOCOR.

Up in TRANSCO’s plans is the Bohol Backbone Transmission Project. Stage 1 comprises the stringing of a 138 KV transmission line from Ubay to Corella through high-tension steel towers. Being taller than coconut palms and most trees, trip offs will no longer be a problem because falling fronds, branches and other debris can no longer straddle the cables. A 69 KV tie line will also be installed from Dampas to Catigbian town.
On the other hand, an expansion substation will be constructed in Ubay and a new one in Corella.

At 2006 price levels, the project is estimated to cost almost P.4 billion. The feasibility study was completed last April and approved by the Management Committee two months later. The project is now for endorsement to the National Economic and Development Authority Infrastructure Coordination Committee (NEDA ICC).

Meanwhile, the governor announced the interest expressed by Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Co., Ltd. to establish a shipyard in Bohol . In his meeting with Hanjin President and Chief Executive Officer Kang-Rock Lee at his head office in South Korea last October, the latter said such facility would require at least 200 MW of power and at least 30,000 welders, among others.

As such, the PITE-IATF passed two resolutions – requesting President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, TRANSCO and NAPOCOR to upgrade LBIP by tapping another geothermal power plant, this time in Southern Leyte, and requesting President Arroyo and NAPOCOR President del Callar to transfer to Bohol the excess power generator from Subic.

Aumentado is apprehensive with a coal-fired power plant. He said the former governor of Pangasinan said such plant in Sual has been wreaking havoc to the environment of the town and province.
He does not want Bohol to be similarly affected.

“After all, Bohol’s tourism is based on ecology, culture and heritage,” he said.

As Panglao Island takes on a new face with the airport and verticals (structures like hotels, etc.), some agricultural lands necessarily need to be converted into residential, commercial or industrial. To speed things up, the PITE-IATF also passed a resolution requesting Agrarian Reform Secretary to authorize Region 7 Director Datu Yusoph Mama to approve the conversion of land classification from five hectares to 100 hectares, but for Panglao Island alone, which is Bohol’s main thrust for tourism and in the light of the international airport.
 

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