Friday, November 29, 2013

DLPC launches new text system to aid consumers

Sunstar Davao
By Reuel John F. Lumawag
Friday, November 29, 2013

DAVAO Light and Power Company (DLPC) launched a new text messaging system that will help consumers make reports and inquiries if there are power interruptions in their area.
Dubbed as ASKDLPC Outage, it was launched on Friday at the Villa Margarita Hotel.
DLPC assistant vice president for corporate communications and branding Ross C. Luga, in a statement, said their customers can "get information of an ongoing power interruption anytime and anywhere through text."
To avail the service, customers just have to text ASKDLPC OUTAGE ten-digit Account ID number or seven-digit pole number in the area or the customer's specific address then send it to 391-3572 for Smart, Talk 'n Text, and Red Mobile subscribers or to (0922) 999-3572 for Sun Cellular, Globe, and TM subscribers.
In a minute or less, DLPC is expected to respond with three messages -- the first is the acknowledgement of the report or inquiry, second is a message informing the sender they are checking the cause of the power interruption, and lastly is a message stating if the interruption is planned or not and when they can expect the power to resume.
Luga said power interruption comes in two forms, one is the planned or scheduled which involves the company upgrading of the facilities or doing maintenance work and the second is the unscheduled interruption which is usually caused by the toppling of poles due to strong winds.
In a briefer, this new service will definitely benefit customers who do not have landline phones.
"We hope through this new service of ours, we are able to improve our response to power outages and also to enhance our service," DLPC executive vice president and chief operating officer Arturo M. Milan said during the launch.
He said they hope to establish a standard response time for reports or inquires. He said they target to respond 60 percent of the reports within 30 minutes and 75 percent within one hour.
In 2012, DLPC also launched a text messaging system, ASKDLPC Bill, that allows their customers to inquire about their bill through text.   source

Hydro plants hike power supply

Manila Standard Today
By Dexter A. See | Nov. 29, 2013 at 12:00am

ITOGON, Benguet --- The Ambuklao and Binga hydro electric dams have increased its supply of clean power to the Luzon grid by more than 230 megawatts, according to SN Aboitiz Power-Benguet (SNAPB).
Mike Hossilos, SNAPB vice president for corporate affairs, said the Energy Regulatory Commission has issued the company a certificate of compliance as a result of the increase in the production of its Binga Hydroelectric power plant in Barangay Tinongdan. 

“This certificate marks Binga’s increased capacity from 100 to 125 MW. But as a result of more efficient turbine technology, the plant is actually capable of producing up to 132 MW,” said Emmanuel Rubio, SNAPB President and Chief Executive Officer.

“Aside from providing a significant amount of clean and renewable energy to communities, this also means that we will contribute to energy security by adding additional power generation capacity to the grid,” he said. 

The Binga plant, which was constructed in 1960 for flood control and power generation, is one of the oldest power facilities in the country. It is the second plant that SNAPB has rehabilitated to become a modern, state-of-the-art facility. 

In 2011, the company completed the restoration and upgrading of the Ambuklao plant in Bokod, Benguet. SNAPB acquired Ambuklao and Binga dams through the government’s privatization program in 2008. 

Gov. Nestor Fongwan said the increased power production of the two power plants will help the economic growth of the host and neighboring communities because of its share from the national wealth tax and other taxes paid to the local communities.

“We believe that the SNAP Benguet will continue to extend its assistance to the host and neighboring communities through the implementation of various soft and hard infrastructure projects that are part of their corporate social responsibility,” he said.    source

Korean firm to put up biomass plant

Manila Standard Today
By Ferdie G. Domingo | Nov. 28, 2013 at 12:01am

PALAYAN CITY, Nueva Ecija—A consortium of South Korean and Filipino companies has announced plans to put up a biomass power plant in Nueva Ecija and be part of a renewable energy boom in the country, a top provincial official said. 

Gov. Aurelio Umali said three South Korean companies and their Philippine partner, Phil-Bio Agri-Industry Corp, have submitted to the province a letter of intent to undertake feasibility studies for biomas power plant. 

“The plant will use such materials as rice hull, rice straw, corn cobs, corn stovers, bagasse and coconut tree as fuel,” Umali said. 

The Korean firms include the Hankook B&P Systems, Plant Engineering Co, and Kepco Engineering and Construction Co. Hankook is a known leader in the field of power generation boilers.

The project was expected to generate at least 1,600 jobs. The site of the project will be determined in the feasibility study. 

Umali said the province welcomed the proposal because “it would redound to additional income, employment and enhanced power supply to our local communities.”

“We are definitely excited about this project and its many possibilities and look forward to working with you,” he said in his response to the Koreans.

Umali said South Korea is the fifth largest trading partner of the Philippines and the two countries have good relationship for the past six decades.

“More importantly, it is in the area of people to people exchanges that our relations with Korea is most felt,” Umali said. “The Philippines serve as home to around 100,000 South Koreans, while Korea hosts more than 40,000 Filipinos.”

Provincial Administrator Alejandro Abesamis said the feasibility study will take between three to four months and the power plant will be built within three years.  source

Thursday, November 28, 2013

EDC restarts Leyte geothermal complex

Manila Standard Today
By Alena Mae S. Flores | Nov. 28, 2013 at 12:01am

Energy Development Corp., the operator of the Unified Leyte geothermal power plants in Leyte province, said Wednesday it restarted the operation of the damaged power complex and dispatched 57 megawatts to the Visayas grid.

EDC said in a disclosure to the stock exchange it partially re-commissioned the Upper Mahiao and Leyte Optimization plants, which were able to generate 57 MW.

“The power plants are currently on reliability runs and have successfully dispatched 57 MW into the grid,” EDC said.

The 650-MW Unified Leyte facilities, which straddle Ormoc City and Kananga town in Leyte, suffered heavy damage amid the onslaught of super typhoon Yolanda on Nov. 8, forcing EDC to shut down the operation of the entire facility.

Energy officials said the re-commissioning of the Unified Leyte facilities would help augment power supply in the Visayas.

Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla, however, said while the Unified Leyte would help reduce the power shortfall in the Visayas, it would not be enough to supply power to the whole region.

“We are still lacking as the shortfall is about 100 MW,” Petilla said, adding that it might take up to one year to fully restore the 650-MW capacity of the Unified Leyte geothermal plants.

“No cost from EDC, but this is not passable anyway and they are insured,” Petilla said.

EDC earlier said the cooling towers of Malitbog (232 MW), Tongonan (112.5 MW) and Mahanagdong (180 MW) power plants became “inoperable” due to significant damage sustained during the typhoon.

The company said a part of the cooling system of Upper Mahiao (130 MW) was also damaged. Cooling towers prevent turbines from overheating. The control systems of Tongonan, Mahanagdong and Upper Mahiao also sustained water damage. 

EDC’s wholly-owned subsidiary Unified Leyte Geothermal Energy Inc. said last week it would no longer accept the contract to administer the power supply of the Unified Leyte geothermal power complex under the same condition.

Unified Leyte was appointed as one of the seven independent power producer administrators for the strips of energy.

The bidding was conducted on Nov. 7, a day before super typhoon Yolanda made landfall in Leyte and severely affected the facilities of EDC.  source

Indonesia urges ASEAN partners to be transparent on mineral requirements

November 28, 2013 11:12 am

Indonesia has asked Japan, China and South Korea to be transparent about their mineral import requirements and provide guidance on the outlook for minerals to ensure market stability.
“Guidance on the outlook, such as the guidance for energy, is very important to maintain balanced supply and demand in the regions mineral and metal markets,” chairman of the ASEAN Plus Three Senior Officials Meeting on Minerals (ASOMM+3) R Sukhyar said here on Wednesday.
Some ASEAN members, such as Indonesia, the Philippines, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, are producers and exporters of metals and minerals, he pointed out.
He noted that Indonesia and the Philippines are the main producers of nickel ore in the region, while Laos is a leading producer of gold. Myanmar, Vietnam and Indonesia are tin exporters.
“Therefore, ASEAN is appropriately concerned about ensuring that supply and demand in the mineral and metal markets are balanced to ensure price stability,” he added.
The head of the Geology Agency under the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources said China and Japan have, so far, imported large quantities of metal and mineral ores from Indonesia, especially nickel, which is processed to produce stainless steel.
He said Indonesia’s proposal was received positively by the three ASEAN partners.
“In the ASOMM+3 meeting, they accepted the Indonesian proposal and even offered to assist in preparing the outlook,” he added.
Sukhyar said the three countries also expressed willingness to help Indonesia and other ASEAN members to extract rare earth minerals from tin ore.
He pointed out that rare earth minerals have typically been discarded in the process of extraction, even though these minerals are used in the telecommunications industry.
In Indonesia, rare earth minerals can be found in the Sumatra province of Bangka-Belitung. But their extraction is minimal because the technology to separate rare earth minerals from other minerals is controlled by developed nations.
“Japan, within the framework of its cooperation with the ASEAN, has expressed its willingness to transfer the technology,” he added. PNA   source

Palawe├▒os to march vs coal plant

Philippine Daily Inquirer
Thousands of protestors from across Palawan are set to march from the municipal hall of Aborlan to the capitol building in Puerto Princesa City Thursday and Friday to protest the proposed construction of a coal-fired power plant in Aborlan.
Former Aborlan Mayor Celsa Adier is leading the activities and will be joined by former Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn, who is known for his passion and dedication toward the protection of the environment. The protesters come from Western Philippines University, faith communities, fishermen, cultural minority groups and concerned citizens of Aborlan and the surrounding towns of Quezon and Tagaytay.
Aborlan, 69 kilometers south of Puerto Princesa, is the agriculture center of Palawan and the home of cultural minority groups such as Tagbanua, Palawano, Batak and Molbog. Corporate giant DMCI is reportedly going ahead with the construction of the first coal plant in Palawan that environmentalists say will cause pollution and serious health problems affecting the livelihood of the indigenous people.
One of the organizers, Christine E.V. Gonzales, a naturopathic physician and health care practitioner assisting indigenous communities in achieving food sovereignty, is campaigning to remove all coal power plants in the Philippines. She cited the hazards of coal mining to physical health and the ecology.
Gonzales cited the experience of Batangas Coal-Fired Thermal Power Plant in Calaca, where people in the area eat inside their mosquito nets to avoid coal ashes going to their food.  source

‘Coal’ issue unites mayor, guv

Sunstar Cagayan de Oro
By Jigger J. Jerusalem
Thursday, November 28, 2013

AMID the opposition of environment group Sulog on the construction of two more coal-fired power plants in Misamis Oriental, the top officials of Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental who are political rivals have endorsed the plants.
In politics, Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno and Misamis Oriental Governor Yevgeny Vincente Emano are tagged as nemesis, but the issue on coal-fired power plant did not stop them from expressing their support to the project.
The two never doubted their support to the construction of the coal-fired power plants in Misamis Oriental since both are looking at the economic benefit the power plants will pour in the province.
Emano and Moreno believe these power plants will spur the economy in the province, providing jobs to the residents and stable power supply, which is one of the key factors in increasing investments in the region.
Emano, who spoke before the crowd during the ceremonial ground breaking of the coal-fired power plant project of FDC Misamis Power Corporation (FDC Misamis) on November 21, said that power is vital for his eco-tourism development programs in the province.
Despite the growing clamor from various groups against planned, both did not budge.
The proponents of the two proposed power plants are the FDC Misamis and Mindanao Energy Systems Inc. (Minergy).
FDC Misamis is a subsidiary of FDC Utilities Inc., the utilities and infrastructure arm of the Filinvest Development Corporation (FDC).
The 405-megawatt FDC Misamis plant is expected to be operational in 2016. It will use the new “circulating fluidized bed” technology that ensures to emit clean smoke.
The Minergy plant, to be built in Balingasag, Misamis Oriental, will produce 110 megawatts.
In a text message, Marilyn Chavez, customer and community relations department manager of Cagayan Electric Power and Light Company (Cepalco), Minergy’s sister company, said the 110-megawatt thermal plant that Minergy will build is still on its conceptual stage.
A necessity
In previous separate statements, both Emano and Moreno agreed that the addition of these coal-fired power plants is a necessity not only for Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental to grow but the whole Mindanao as well.
In a television interview, Emano was quoted as saying that, “Dugay naman ang Steag, naa ba kitay nadunggan nga reklamo (Steag has been operating for a few years already, but have we heard of any complaints?).”
Steag State Power Inc. operates a coal-fired power plant at the Phividec Industrial Estate in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental.
The Steag plant, which started its operation in 2006, produces about 210 megawatt of power that it feeds into the Mindanao grid.
Emano added: “If we find out that they (coal-fired power plant proponents) will not follow the Clean Air Act, I, for one, will join in stopping them.”
In a telephone interview Wednesday, provincial information officer Lito Rulona said Emano has maintained his pro coal-fired power plant stance despite the brewing opposition.
“So far, maintain man gyapon ang iyang (Emano) stand,” Rulona said.
Rulona added that Emano left for Tacloban City on Monday to check the status of the provincial team conducting medical mission there.
In a previous news article, Moreno admitted that he even encouraged Minergy and FDC Misamis to go ahead with the putting up of their coal-fired power plant projects in the province.
‘Clean coal’
Meanwhile, Engr. Loreto Moncada of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Alternative Fuels Division, said that personally he is not opposed to the use of coal of generate power.
“We already have a ‘clean coal’ technology,” Moncada told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro during the Alternative Fuels Stakeholders Forum held in the city Tuesday.
Moncada added that aside from Mindanao, there are other areas in the country that use coal and so far he has not heard of any complaints.
“As a consumer myself, and pinaka-economical pa din is coal,” he said.
Moncada said in the light of the Mindanao power crisis, the DOE’s power and planning bureaus are drawing up plans to address the energy situation in the island.   source

Coal-fired power plant ‘tool for gradual mass murder’

Sunstar Cagayan de Oro
By Anjo Bacarisas
Thursday, November 28, 2013

ADA Estepa, of the Ecology Desk of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro, considered on Wednesday coal-fired power plants as tools for gradual mass murder, saying deaths caused by the carbon dioxide emitted by them are very alarming.
“In the United State of America alone, it reported around one million deaths per year due to coal-fired power plants,” said Estepa, to prove her point.
She said these power plants have high carbon emissions, and they release not just carbon but also arsenic and mercury that can endanger the health of the residents within their reach.
According to the website of the Union of Concerned Scientists: “Toxic substances in the waste -- including arsenic, mercury, chromium and cadmium -- can contaminate drinking water supplies and damage vital organs and the nervous system.”
“One study found that one out of every 100 children who drank groundwater contaminated with arsenic from coal-fired power plant wastes were at risk of developing cancer,” the website stated.
“The carbon and other chemicals that are emitted by coal-fired power plants can cause respiratory and circulatory diseases to the people nearby,” said Estepa.
Cagayan de Oro City’s committee on energy chairman Teodulfo Lao Jr. opposed these power plants, citing the hazards they pose to the people in Villanueva town in Misamis Oriental where one coal-fired power plant already exists.
“It emits nitrogen oxide – this chemical can cause cancer,” said Lao.
Endangering Oro
Sulog chairperson Orlando Ravanera added the fumes emitted by the 405-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant of FDC Misamis Power Corporation (FDC Misamis) in Villanueva can travel up to 600 kilometers.
“Cagayan de Oro City is just 30 kilometers away from Villanueva,” said Sulog chairperson Orlan Ravanera.
Sendong survivor
Tropical Storm Sendong survivor Maria Carmen Rodrigo is against these plants because they can cause major calamities around the world.
She said that aside from calamities, they can gravely affect people’s health.
“What is happening to us, like the onslaught of Sendong and Super Typhoon Yolanda in Leyte, is an offshoot of climate change,” said Rodrigo.
Following the precautionary principle, Ravanera said: “Sendong and Yolanda served as a wake-up call for us.”
“We should take a stand for our environment and coal-fired power plants should not be allowed,” Ravanera added.
Lao said coal-fired power plant aggravates the damage in the atmosphere.
For Rodrigo, Sendong taught her well why the people should take a stand against the power plants.
Rodrigo is presently living in Mambuaya Coopville, a relocation site for Sendong survivors.
“I am afraid of the future of my children if we allow these CPPs (coal-fired power plants),” said Rodrigo.
‘We can stop this’
Sulog believes that they will win the fight against the establishment of another coal-fired power plant in Misamis Oriental.
“Kaya kaayo na babagan (We can surely stop this),” said Ravanera.
Ravanera said the group is inspired by the struggles of the people in Luzon against coal-fired power plants.
He said in the case of Luzon, the environmental compliance certificate was issued, but it was nullified because of the people’s clamor against it.
Ravanera said if Sulog can enlighten the people about the hazards of coal-fired power plants, they can win them over, and there will be no social acceptability on FDC’s coal-fired power plant in Villanueva.
Ravanera added that the group (Sulog) will never stop until the battle is won.
“It should be banned. There is no compromise when the health of the people and the environment is at stake,” he said.   source

DOE pushes for alternative fuel, new energy technologies

Sunstar Cagayan de Oro
Thursday, November 28, 2013

THE Department of Energy (DOE) during its “Alternative Fuels Stakeholders Forum” in Cagayan de Oro City encouraged stakeholders to consider using alternative fuels and new energy technologies in public transport.
Engr. Virgilio B. Arzadon of the DOE said that a 2011 study showed that in terms of fuel consumption, the transport sector consumes most energy with 34.7 percent, followed by residential with 26.1 percent, industries 25.9 percent, and commercial with 11.9 percent.
He said that of the fuels available, oil products are most consumed with 48.6 percent, followed by biomass with 21.1 percent, electricity 21 percent, coal 8 percent, and biofuel 1 percent.
He explained that the government has created the Alternative Fuels and Energy Technologies Program where they intend to reduce and diversify the country’s fuel resources while providing solutions to air pollution caused by vehicle emissions.
These programs include the Auto-LPG or Liquefied Petroleum Gas, Electric Tricycle Project or E-trike and Natural Gas Vehicle.
Engr. Loreto Moncada of DOE said Auto-LPG is beneficial in the environment and health since it has lower photo-chemical smog or “ozone” forming potential which usually causes cancer and respiratory problems such as asthma, bronchitis and so on, lower greenhouse emissions affecting climate change and less urban pollution.
On the other hand, the Electric Tricycle Project or E-trike is designed with the goal to save 90 million liters of petroleum per year, a total of 260, 000 tons of less carbon dioxide per year, and much better quality of life for drivers and operators and passengers.
Further, E-trike is estimated to increase driver’s daily net income to 34 percent, since there is no need to pay for fuel, Moncada said.
To implement these programs in cities and provinces, the local government unit (LGU) must coordinate with the DOE and send them letter of intent, he added.
Meanwhile, Natural Gas Vehicle program will ensure the stable supply of energy in the transport sector, according to Jeannie Dy.
DOE urges both public and private sectors to use or apply these new technologies and develop market and supply infrastructure to help the environment and more importantly lessen dependency on imported oil. (PIA)   source

Mindoro power plant to cost P1b, says DMCI

By Alena Mae S. Flores | Nov. 28, 2013 at 12:01am

DMCI Power Corp., a unit of the Consunji Group, will spend around P1 billion to construct a 15-megawatt bunker fuel power plant to supply the requirements of Oriental Mindoro Electric Cooperative Inc.

DMCI Power president Nestor Dadivas said Wednesday the company signed an agreement with Ormeco to deliver electricity from the bunker plant for 20 years.

“Target commissioning date is December 2014. Budget is approximately P1 billion,” Dadivas said.

The official said the construction cost was inclusive of the expenses for land and other pre-development spending, including interest and permit.

Ormeco earlier awarded the supply contract to DMCI and issued the notice to proceed to the power company.

Ormeco serves the power requirements of Oriental Mindoro, which has experienced significant economic growth driven by the tourism industry.

DMCI Power earlier won the bid to supply power to National Power Corp. to energize one of the country’s prime tourist destinations in El Nido, Palawan.

DMCI Power bagged the contract after offering a bid of P9 million covering nine months from March 19, 2013.

“DMCI is now supplying one megawatt to El Nido via rental agreement with Napocor for nine months, boosting Palawan’s primary industry—tourism,” Dadivas said.  source

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

EDC recommissions Leyte plants

Business Mirror

27 Nov 2013 
Written by Lenie Lectura

LOPEZ-led Energy Development Corp. (EDC) informed the stock exchange on Wednesday that it has partially recommissioned some of its power plants in Leyte, following the massive destruction Supertyphoon Yolanda (international code name Haiyan) made on its power facilities.
EDC said the Upper Mahiao and Leyte Optimization plants are “currently on reliability runs and have successfully dispatched 57 megawatts (MW) into the grid.”
The company reported last week that the cooling towers of its 232-MW Malitbog, 112.5-MW Tongonan and 180-MW Mahanagdong power plants were rendered inoperable due to significant damage sustained by the facilities.  Also, part of the cooling systems of 130-MW Upper Mahiao was also damaged. Likewise, the control systems of Tongonan, Mahanagdongand Upper Mahiao also underwent water damage.
EDC said it is still assessing the damages on the small optimization plants consisting of 15-MW Tongonan Topping Cycle and the 16-MW Malitbog Bottoming Cycle. The company’s steamfield lines were also damaged but are still operable. 
Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla said EDC’s facilities will be fully restored in one year. “They said that some 120MW will be back on line by December 9. Thereafter, they will be able to restore [operations] in tranches until all is completed in a year.”
EDC also disclosed that its unit Unified Leyte Geothermal Energy Inc. (ULGEI) will not accept the award of its winning bids in the recently concluded Unified Leyte Geothermal Power Plant auction.
ULGEI has written the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. that “the physical and economic conditions underlying the bidding process and the independent power producer administrators’ administration agreements have been dramatically altered by the severe and widespread destruction caused by the typhoon in the Eastern and Western Visayas regions.”   source