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Negros consumers to bear brunt of coal-fired power

By: - Correspondent / @carlagomezINQ
/ 10:43 PM December 13, 2011

As usual, consumers would bear the brunt.

The Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco) said it would be forced to pass on to its consumers the payment for its multimillion peso debt for electricity it purchased from the Panay Electric Development Corp. (PEDC).

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PEDC said Ceneco owed P204 million for coal-fired electricity purchased early this year. However, Ceneco said it should be P156 million or P48 million less.

“If PEDC requires payment over a three-year period the pass-on rate to consumers will be about 20 centavos per kilowatt,” said Ceneco head Arnel Lapore.

“We are asking that it be spread over more years so the pass-on rate will be lower,” he said.

Lapore said Ceneco officials are negotiating with PEDC to bring down its P204-million bill, the final amount of which should be determined by the Energy Regulatory Commission.

“Hopefully, we can come up with a reasonable and fair price,” Lapore said.

Ceneco had stopped buying power from PEDC on Aug. 17 since the price of electricity from the coal power distributor was higher than that of Cebu-based Kepco SPC Power Corp. (KSPC). Lapore said Ceneco had discontinued its power supply contract for 24 megawatts with the PEDC that was entered into during the term of former Ceneco president Edward Gasambelo.

Ceneco currently gets 24 megawatts from KSPC in Cebu that sells its power at P1.30 less per kilowatt hour than PEDC, Lapore said.

“(The) PEDC is also our partner, we cannot deny their importance to our industry. Later on, we will return to them to buy power. Our load growth is about 3 to 5 percent and we have to be prepared for this with all the investments coming into Bacolod,” he added.

Art Aguilar, president of Global Power Corp., which owns PEDC, said both parties were negotiating in good faith.

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But Aguilar also recalled that if it were not for PEDC, which supplied power to Ceneco even without a contract, Negros Occidental would have faced blackouts from December last year until April this year.

He also added that the rates PEDC charged Ceneco were the same as what PEDC charges other firms.

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TAGS: Ceneco, Central Negros Electric Cooperative, Negros consumers, Panay Electric Development Corp. (PEDC)
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