Shorter brownouts expected in Socoteco II areas

Power consumers in General Santos City and in the provinces of Sarangani and South Cotabato are finally getting relief this week from the prolonged daily rotating brownouts that has plagued the area in the last two months.
General Santos City Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio disclosed over the weekend that the local government has facilitated the signing of new power sales contracts that would allow local distribution utility South Cotabato II Electric Cooperative (Socoteco II) to access around 15 megawatts (MW) of additional power supplies starting May 3.
She said the additional power supplies were projected to effectively cut down by half the area’s continuing seven-hour daily rotating outages.
“Starting May 3, all these contracts will take effect and we expect them to bring down our rotating brownouts by half or possibly even more,” the mayor announced during the grand rally on Saturday of the city’s Liberal Party-Achievers with Integrity Movement (LP-AIM) at the city gymnasium in Barangay Lagao.
The rally coincided with the scheduled meeting of President Benigno S. Aquino III with “local leaders and the community.”
Custodio, who is seeking reelection under the LP-AIM slate, said the city government and the Mindanao Development Authority have initiated negotiations in the past several weeks with various power producers for the augmentation of the Socoteco II’s power supplies, which is currently short by around 40 MW.
Socoteco II, which lists an average daily peak demand of 112 MW, serves this city, the entire Sarangani Province and the municipalities of Tupi and Polomolok in South Cotabato.
The National Power Corporation (Napocor) is only supplying around 43 MW of power to Socoteco II out of their 52 MW contract for this year due to the reduced capacity of its hydroelectric plants in Bukidnon and Lanao del Norte. [Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews]