Camarines Sur power rates to increase in DecemberBy Juan Escandor Jr. |Inquirer Southern Luzon
NAGA CITY—Power rates in this city and in nine towns of Camarines Sur are expected to rise in December until January next year as the local power cooperative’s main power suppliers go on a maintenance shutdown for almost two months, forcing the cooperative to buy more expensive electricity from other suppliers.
Emmanuel Rojo, spokesperson of Camarines Sur II Electric Cooperative (Casureco II), said the increase in power rates would be the expected result of getting supply from the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) because of the shutdown from Oct. 28 to Dec. 15 of the Bacon-Manito Geothermal Plant (BacMan) that provides 40 percent of the cooperative’s power supply.
Rojo said the Malampaya gas plant, another power supplier of Casureco II which provides about 40-45 percent of the power needs of Luzon, will also go on a maintenance shutdown coinciding with the BacMan shutdown, from Nov. 8 to Dec. 9 this year.
Casureco II services Naga City and the towns of Pili, Canaman, Magarao, Calabanga, Minalabac, Gainza, Bombon, Siruma and Tinambac.
The preventive maintenance shutdown of BacMan, said Rojo, would force the cooperative to get 40 percent of its electricity requirement from WESM, which currently supplies only 15 percent of Casureco II’s power needs.
WESM is an open market for electricity in which bulk users get short-term supply contracts from different independent power producers which often results in higher rates.
Rojo said the increase in power rates as a result of maintenance shutdowns of Casureco II’s traditional suppliers is not new as it happened in August last year when the cooperative had to buy 55 percent of its power needs from WESM.
Rojo said he could not yet say how much exactly the rates would increase but last year, Casureco II collected an additional 50 centavos per kilowatt hour as a result of buying electricity from WESM when the Malampaya gas plant shut down.