Power fully restored ahead of deadline

The Department of Energy (DOE) has disclosed that power has been fully restored in the three provinces of Leyte, Samar and Bohol after a total blackout had paralyzed the province following the 6.5 magnitude earthquake that struck Leyte on July 6.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi commended all those in the energy department and industry participants who contributed to attaining the feat a few days earlier before the July 31 deadline.

“I congratulate and thank the hardworking people, especially those on the ground, for attaining 100% restoration of power in Leyte, Samar and Bohol, ” Cusi said.

“The task to build a stronger and more resilient energy system lies ahead. Our hosting of the Asian Cooperation Dialogue in Bohol next week will help us learn more and do more,” Cusi added.

As this developed, Bohol Gov. Edgar M. Chatto told The Bohol Tribune last night that the three power distribution utilities (BOHECO I and II and Bohol Light Company) and the Bohol Energy Development Advisory Group (BEDAG) will still push for the installation of two power barges in Bohol.

“BEDAG with the distribution utilities have decided to have standby power through barge or land-based modular (genset) that can offer “rate of use” to consumers,” replied the governor when asked of the province’s next move now that power has been fully restored in Bohol.

Meanwhile, the System Operator and the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines have reported to the DOE that the newly transferred 150Mva Transformer 2 at the Ormoc Substation was successfully energized on July 27 and had started loading electricity the next day.

“This means that another 135 MW can be delivered to Leyte, Samar and Bohol (LSB),” the DOE said.

The total potential of 330 MW in the three islands to address its projected peak demand of 291 MW is broken down as follows: (1) 135 MW traversing the Ormoc Substation; (2) 40 MW from Tongonan Geothermal Power Plant; (3) around 20 MW from various embedded generation sources; and (4) an additional 135 MW through the Ormoc Substation. The projected peak demand for LSB is 291 MW is broken down as follows: 210 MW for Leyte and Samar and 81 MW for Bohol.

34 Asian states to hold energy forum in Bohol

Thirty-four Asian countries will confer on energy during Bohol’s biggest international event hosting next week, which is timely as the province works hard on permanent solution to unreliable power.

The countries comprise the Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) which gathering at the Be Grand Resort in Panglao island on August 7-10 will focus on energy security, sustainability and resiliency.

The electricity in Bohol and Eastern Visayas provinces has yet to be fully restored after the magnitude 6.5 Leyte earthquake that destroyed the power facilities in Leyte, Bohol’s main power source.

Department of Energy (DOE) Sec. Alfonso Cusi said “the task to build a stronger and more resilient energy system lies ahead” and “our hosting of the ACD in Bohol will help us learn more and do more.”

Cusi himself recognized the Bohol’s initiatives spearheaded by Gov. Edgar Chatto in addressing the concerns of emergency, interim and permanent power thru the Bohol Energy Development Advisory Group (BEDAG).

Dir. Carmencita Bariso of the DOE Energy Policy and Planning Bureau and Dir. Grace Villamayor of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) met with Chatto here last week on the penultimate hosting arrangement.

They also joined Chatto during his regular interaction with the local media at the Governor’s Mansion on Friday.

Officials and experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have been invited to the conference.

To be attended by ministers and other high-profile delegates, the ACD conference will also have “associated meetings,” during which the “first East Asia energy forum” will happen, Bariso said.

The current ACD members are Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Kuwait, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Turkey and Nepal.

Bohol’s hosting will be historic as it will likewise be the Philippines’ maiden hosting of the ADC, which promotes interdependence among Asian members in various areas of cooperation, one of which is energy.

FIRST OF ITS KIND CONTINENT FORUM

Initiated by Thailand and inaugurated in 2002, the ACD is a continent-wide forum, the first of its kind in Asia.

More specifically, the ACD aims to constitute the missing link in Asia by incorporating every Asian country and building an Asian community without duplicating other organizations, like the ASEAN, or creating a bloc against others.

The ASEAN or Association of Southeast Asian Nations, of which the Philippines is also a member, held its highly-successful trade, commerce and industry meetings in Bohol last April.

Sources outside the DOE believed Bohol’s impressive ASEAN Meeting hosting must have helped seal the decision to also hold here the bigger ADC conference.

A key ADC principle is to consolidate Asian strengths and fortify Asia’s competitiveness by maximizing the diversity and rich resources evident in the world’s largest continent.

The core values of the ADC include positive thinking, voluntarism, openness, respect for diversity, and comfort level of member countries.

Since its inception, the ACD has rapidly developed in two dimensions—dialogue and projects.

On the project dimension, many countries have currently proposed to be prime movers in 20 cooperation areas, such as energy, agriculture, biotechnology, tourism, poverty alleviation, information technology development, e-education and finance.

ESSENCE OF ADC TO BOHOL

The conference will gather energy policy makers to discuss latest developments in their respective countries and encourage consultations in identifying new cooperation initiatives for execution.

This what the BEDAG, now reputed to be another Bohol best practice, has essentially been doing, plus the aggressive participation of the energy industry keyplayers themselves.

Here earlier when he graced the 163rd Bohol Day on July 22, DOE Usec. Felix William Fuentebella congratulated Chatto for creating the BEDAG.

Fuentebella said Cusi, in 2016, already had in mind Bohol to host the 34-country dialogue and is materializing the plan despite the impact here of the Leyte power facilities’ destruction by the earthquake there.

The ADC conference will be essential to the local setting since the forum aims to promote information exchanges and the sharing of best practices on energy policies, plans and programs among the member states.

It will be an avenue to drive investments in the priority areas of renewable and clean energy, natural gas as transition fuel, low carbon future thru clean technologies, emerging role of nuclear energy, energy connectivity and market integration, and role of the younger generation in future energy development.

Chatto said that thru the BEDAG, Bohol is bridging the present-future energy gap between for a reliable, sustainable and resilient energy condition in anticipation of the development upsurge.

ADC delegates are expected to share information and experiences in building a resilient energy sector, especially among high-risk countries on the adverse effects of the changing weather patterns and disasters.

Cusi said the other ACD goals are to expand trade and financial markets within Asia and, ultimately, transform the Asian continent into “One Asian Community.”

While focusing on energy security, sustainability and resiliency, the first Philippine-hosted ADC conference venued in Bohol will delve as well into energy’s relation to water and food.

Transition Panel to Manage PEMC, WESM

On the other hand, DOE Sec. Cusi has ordered the creation of a transition committee for the interim management of the Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC) and the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).

Under the department order that Cusi issued, the committee is to be chaired by Atty. Oscar E. Ala which shall exercise the functions of the PEMC president until one is appointed by the PEMC board. In addition, the Transition Committee is tasked to assess PEMC’s existing structures, systems, and resources and propose a way forward for the WESM to meet the challenges ahead.  The order gives the committee seven months from August 1, 2017 to complete its tasks.

Cusi said the creation of the Transition Committee is in line with President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s thrust of ensuring the protection of the Filipino electricity consumers, who are affected by the operation of PEMC and the WESM.

Cusi said the PEMC shall continue to effectively govern the operations of WESM for the benefit of all electricity stakeholders. On the organizational level, Cusi assures the PEMC employees that the PEMC leadership shall continue to improve and advance their welfare as WESM operations continue to evolve.

The PEMC was incorporated in 2003 and was constituted as the autonomous group market operator to oversee market governance and perform the functions of the market operator in the WESM.

Aside from Oscar Escobar Ala as Chairman, the Transition Committee Members are Engr. Jose Mari T. Bigornia, Atty. Jose M. Layug, Jr., Atty. Francis C. Saturnino Juan and Mr. Rauf A. Tan.

The PEMC will be governed by a new Philippine Electricity Market Board composed of: Alfonso G. Cusi as Chairman with Ronald Dylan P. Concepcion, Victor Emmanuel B. Santos, Emmanuel V. Rubio, Neeraj Bhat, Deon James, Rolando M. Cagampan, Octavius M. Mendoza, Allan L. Laniba, Noel V. Aboboto, Jesus L. Arranza and Peter L. Wallace as Board Members. (DOE and Ven rebo Arigo)

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