GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Power supply situation in the city has normalized over the last week as the generating capacity of the Agus and Pulangi hydroelectric power plants also reportedly improved, according to a South Cotabato 2 Electric Cooperative (SOCOTECO II) official.

Gerry Desesto, SOCOTECO II vice president for institution services, said the cooperative was also able to get a “maximum nomination” of 40-megawatts (MW) from the power supply barges of Abotiz-owned Therma Marine Inc.

Prior to last week’s improved power supply, the city has been experiencing up to four hours of daily rotating power interruptions due to insufficient supply.

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) today said supply deficit is now down to just 112 MW, an improvement over the 450 MW supply deficiency early this month.

SOCOTECO II manager Rodolfo Ocat however earlier warned that power supply from the National Power Corporation (NPC) will remain unstable for the rest of the year.  The situation, he added, will not improve until late 2015 when the coal-fired power plant of Sarangani Energy Corporation (SEC) goes on commercial stream.

The electric cooperative has agreed to purchase 70 MW as base load capacity from SEC which is now constructing its 200 MW power plant in Maasim, Sarangani.

The state-run NPC, which operates the Agus and Pulangi hydropower plants, has reduced its power supply to SOCOTECO II to an aggregate of 52 MW for this year, down from last year’s 72 MW.

This prompted the cooperative to enter into another power sales agreement with the Mapalad Power Corporation for the supply of additional 30 MW from the former Iligan Diesel Power Plant (IDPP) that is now undergoing rehabilitation.

Socoteco II’s power supply deal with Mapalad however will still need approval from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). 

Desesto also said power supply from Mapalad will not be available until April or May this year.

SOCOTECO II is now one of the biggest institutional power supply consumers in Mindanao with a peak load requirement of 112 MW.

Supply requirement is expected to further increase as more business establishments are scheduled to open within the year.

The 65-room international business hotel chain Microtel recently opened for business while 111-room hotel owned by the Teng family will also begin commercial operation with the first half of this year.

Last year, SM Gensan opened its mall here.  SM alone will need up to 8MW of power supply.