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ERC approves Alsons contract for power reserves

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By Sheldeen Joy Talavera, Reporter

THE ENERGY Regulatory Commission (ERC) has provisionally approved a deal that would allow Alsons Consolidated Resources, Inc. to implement its new contract for power reserves.

This came after its unit Western Mindanao Power Corp. said it might shutter its diesel power plant in Zamboanga City due to insufficient fuel supply. This could cause rotating brownouts in the city and nearby areas.

Western Mindanao Power had a nonfirm ancillary services procurement agreement with the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), which allowed it to provide power to the city.

The contract expired on April 25. The NGCP, however, awarded a new firm ancillary services procurement deal, which was put on hold pending ERC approval.

“This interim relief provides us the opportunity to implement a firm ancillary services procurement agreement contract awarded to Western Mindanao Power Corp. for dispatchable reserve, reactive power support and black start service,” Alsons Deputy Chief Financial Officer Philip Edward B. Sagun said at the company’s virtual annual stockholders’ meeting on Thursday.

He added that once clarifications have been made with the ERC, Western Mindanao Power could continue providing electricity to support the “much needed grid stability” in the Zamboanga Peninsula.

Ancillary services are tapped by grid operators to support the transmission of power from generators to consumers to maintain reliable operations.

“We are in the process of procuring the necessary fuel to ensure the uninterrupted operation of Western Mindanao Power Corp.,” Mr. Sagun said.

Alsons Chairman Nicasio I. Alcantara in a separate statement said the company expects the increased power demand to continue given the Philippines’ projected economic growth of 6-7% this year.

“We are committed to driving business growth by maintaining highly efficient plant operations, accelerating our project implementation and continuously seeking opportunities to expand our footprint,” Mr. Alcantara said.

Alsons operates four power facilities with a total capacity of 468 megawatts, serving more than eight million people across 14 cities and 11 provinces in Mindanao.

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