Fish canneries hit hard by power crisis

Business chamber puts losses in potential sales, higher costs at P300M

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AFP FILE PHOTO

Businesses in southern Mindanao stand to lose as much as P300 million in unrealized sales and higher costs this summer alone due to the seven- to eight-hour power outages crippling the entire Mindanao island.

The biggest losers are the seven canning factories and the deep-sea fishing vessel operators in General Santos City and neighboring South Cotabato province, said Rey Billena, vice president of the General Santos Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

In a statement issued Monday, Billena said the worsening power crisis had forced owners of the factories and vessels to use their own diesel-fed generators, which, he added, are more expensive, and continue paying workers even if the factories were not operating.

They are thus forced to shoulder an additional P2 million in operating costs per day to cover for the fuel and the man-hours, he said. One cannery even lost between P200,000 and P300,000 to pay workers who did not work on certain days because there was no electricity, he added.

Billena disclosed that his own ice cream factory incurred P500,000 in extra costs in one month while other businessmen in the Socsksargen region were planning to close shop temporarily to prevent total bankruptcy, as outages occur daily during working hours.

Socsksargen groups South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos.

“The losses amounted to a total of P8 million to P10 million per cannery per month and there are seven canning factories here,” Billena said.

As of Monday, the Mindanao grid posted a power supply deficit of 207 megawatts.

The Department of Energy is currently racing to put in place measures that would help ease the power supply crunch. But these measures will address the shortage only for the latter part of the year and up to 2015, when the new base load, coal-fired facilities are expected to start operating, it said.

The measures include:

The Interruptible Load Program, wherein entities with their own generators can run their facilities at a cost, instead of deriving power from the main grid;

The Interim Mindanao Energy Market, which will serve as a trading platform for power generation companies to sell their excess capacities;

Provision of loans to electric cooperatives to buy their own gensets to serve as their embedded capacities. Amy R. Remo

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Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Ako_Hiking

    During this time unless you can guarantee Aquino votes it doesn’t look like he will be paying much attention to you and your troubles. The Philippine agriculture and the poorest of Filipinos are taking hard hits and the President doesn’t seem to be doing much about it to help their situation.

    • Lorebea Tamparong

      If that is the case then I would like to call on the people in Mindanao to say “No to TEAM PNOY!!!” since they are being endorsed by someone who refused to hear our cries and troubles!!! The one who is supposed to look after our welfare as citizen of this country!!! This is the only way we can send our message to the President that we are upset and frustrated by his incompetence to address our main problem here in Mindanao!!!

      • Ako_Hiking

        With so many starving and impoverished in Mindanao and Davao it doesn’t appear that anyone one of their voices are being heard by the President since their situation has not improved.

  • blowcoldblowhot

    The power crisis in Mindanao has been turned into a fountain of opportunity for the Aboitiz and Alcantara groups as supply agreements for their power plant projects have been selling like hotcakes among electric distribution firms since President Aquino said it cannot offer any short-term solution to the crisis, except for the provision of power generator sets under lease agreements.

    The Aboitiz and Alcantare families are long allies of the family of President Aquino. The state firm National Power Corp.’s (Napocor) president was Ernesto Aboitiz during the term of President Cory Aquino, the incumbent’s mother. Cory Aquino abolished the Ministry of Energy (MoE) on the mere reason that it was first created by former President Ferdinand Marcos, making Napocor then the policy-making agency of the
    government.

    That was when 12-hour daily brownouts hit Luzon as a result of the
    failure of Cory Aquino’s to plan ahead in terms of power supply.

    At least 15 distribution utilities and cooperatives in Mindanao have signed contract
    with AboitizPower to obtain power from its coal-fired power plant.

    The Mindanao utility firms have contracted 180 megawatts or more than 50
    percent of the total capacity of Aboitiz unit Therma South Inc.’s (TSI) 300
    megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant now being constructed in Toril, Davao
    City. TSI’s coal plant will go online in mid-2015.

    The Cotabato Electric Cooperative (Cotelco) which covers six towns in North
    Cotabato, has also signed an energy supply agreement with Therma South Inc.
    Under the contract, the Cotelco P-Palma Area will purchase 5MW of power from
    the 300-MW circulating-fluidized bed coal plant in Toril district.

    Also among distribution utilities that contracted power from TSI’s coal plant
    are AboitizPower subsidiaries Davao Light and Power Co., and Cotabato Light and
    Power Co.

    Electric cooperatives Surigao del Sur, Electric Cooperative II, Misamis
    Occidental 1 Electric Cooperative, Cotabato Electric Cooperative and Sultan
    Kudarat Electric Cooperative.

    Hedcor Sibulan Inc. (HSI), which is also an Aboitiz unit, got approval for
    government incentives for the Tudaya 1 Hydroelectric Power Plant in Sta. Cruz,
    Davao del Sur. This is the third hydro plant of HSI after Sibulan Plant A and Plant B which produces a combined capacity of 42.5 MW.

  • XY ZEE

    The elections this May would be the optimal opportunity for mindanaoans to reciprocate the concern and attention given to them by this government.

    • Lorebea Tamparong

      Lintik lang ang walang ganti !!! Uubusin namin ang Team PNOY !!!

  • NAGMAMARUNONG

    ‘WAG NA MUNANG MAG-OPERATE NG PLANTA KUNG KAYO AY NALULUGI. KUNG MARAMI ANG ISDA AT HINDI KAYO MAG-OPERATE TIYAK MURA ANG ISDA SA PALENGKE. MASAYA ANG MAHIHIRAP AT VIAJEDOR. ‘WAG NA PURO ANGAL O DAING. GANYAN TALAGA ANG BUHAY.

  • Lorebea Tamparong

    Kala ko ba malakas na ang ekonomiya??? Bakit yung brown-out di pa rin ma solusyunan??? Di ba kaya ng pera ng gobyerno na lutasin ang problemang ito??? Kailangan ba talagang magmahal ng singil sa kuryente para wala nang brown-out??? At saka bakit ang mamahal na ng mga bilihin samantalang kakarampot pa rin ang sahod ng mga karaniwang kawani ng gobyerno??? Mukhang walang plano ang gobyernong ito na gumawa ng paraan upang gumaan naman kahit papaano ang buhay nating mga Pilipino…Ito ba ang bunga ng tinatawag nilang TUWID NA DAAN???

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charles-Lynel-F-Joven/685946584 Charles Lynel F. Joven

    ho-hum,..you guys at the DOE are just so slooooooow….

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