Cebu still faces another power crisis

03/06/10 - CEBU will face another power crisis three years from now, even if existing power plants meet the current demand, unless quick and effective measures are taken.
“It's about time we talk about other cheaper means of generating power like putting up nuclear power plants in the country and study its economic and safety aspects,” said Cebu Energy Development Corp. president Jesus N. Alcordo said.

Alcordo said that as of now, they still couldn’t say if they would invest in a nuclear power plant, saying they will still have to examine the requirements of setting up such an investment and look if it will have a good return on investmen.

There are proposals to tap nuclear energy for power generation as a long term solution to the prevailing power shortage.

Alcordo made the comment during yesterday’s ceremonial switch-on ceremonies of CEDC's first of three coal-fired power plants with a rated capacity of 82 megawatts (MW) each with President Macapagal-Arroyo gracing the event. The three power plants will have a total capacity of 246 MW.

“We will now be providing additional 72 MW dependable power to the grid but still we don't have reserves. We expect to achieve a 31- percent reserve by the first quarter of 2011 when all other plants are up and operational already like Kepco,” he said.

Cebu Business Club president Gordon Allan Joseph, who was present during the ceremonial switch-on, said the business community was happy that the power situation will improve with the operation of the first unit of CDC.

But he warned that Cebu would again face the same power supply problem unless planning would be done soon.

“It takes three to five years to put up a power plant so I think now is the best time to start and perhaps start discussing about nuclear energy. It should be studied and a balanced approach should also be done between renewable technology and other alternative clean technologies,” Joseph suggested.

Joseph said they would support the possibility of using nuclear energy and setting up plants even right here in Cebu.

Meanwhile, Toledo Mayor Arlene Zambo said the city would earn an estimated P400 million a year from CEDC’s coal-fired power plant.

“That's just an estimate which will include the business tax, real property tax, and the one centavo share of the city government for every kilowatt hour that they produce,” Zambo said.

“We are very happy and thankful to them because other investors are now seeing Toledo City as another city in Cebu to invest in like malls and the enhancement of existing industries like mining which had power problems before but will now be solved because of this,” she said.

She said jobs were also created for Toledo City residents under an ordinance which requires that 70 percent of laborers in an establishment should come from Toledo. (Cebu Daily News)

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