Basilan

Basilan sees 8- to 12-hour daily blackouts before September

Richard Falcatan
Basilan sees 8- to 12-hour daily blackouts before September

FIX. Linemen fix a power line in Basilan province. The island province is facing the prospect of eight- to -12-hour or worse, a total blackout in the coming weeks.

With Napocor shortening the number of its supply time for Basilan from 24 to 12 and 16 hours daily, the island is expected to see at least eight- to 12-hour blackouts every day

BASILAN, Philippines – The National Power Corporation (Napocor) is reducing the power supply of Basilan before the month ends, a move that is seen to result in more hours of daily blackouts on the island province.

The province is already suffering from rolling power interruptions daily due to local distribution problems.

With Napocor shortening the number of its supply time for Basilan from 24 to 12 and 16 hours daily, the island is expected to see at least eight- to 12-hour blackouts every day beginning on August 29.

Napocor notified the Basilan Electric Cooperative (Baselco) that it decided to reduce the number of hours of operations of a diesel-fed power plant and a power barge, which generate electricity for the entire province, to save on fuel.

Petron Corporation has stopped supplying Napocor’s Basilan power plant and Power Barge No. 108 with fuel over the latter’s failure to settle a P1.2-billion debt.

Napocor’s debt problems have already resulted in a power curtailment scheme in Sultan Kudarat province where another diesel-fed power plant is running low on fuel. 

Two Sultan Kudarat towns are facing the prospect of completely losing their power supply on Thursday, August 25.

Baselco general manager Dusib Darupan said they expect the situation to worsen by August 29 and September 5 when the power barge and power plant run out of fuel.

“Supplier Petron cannot commence fuel delivery to replenish diminishing stock as long as the overdue accounts are not settled. This means that the plant operation of Basilan DPP and Power Barge 108 will cease to operate,” read part of Napocor’s letter to Baselco.

Darupan said the power curtailment scheme was resorted to so Napocor could stretch its fuel reserves and buy time while it negotiates for a settlement with Petron.

He said Napocor was trying to prevent 24 hours of blackouts in Basilan until the second week of September in hopes of striking an agreement with Petron within the period.

Darupan said Napocor was having financial difficulties due to spiraling fuel prices.

Basilan Representative Mujiv Hataman said he would sit down with his brother, Governor Jim Salliman, Napocor, and Baselco officials in an emergency meeting on Thursday to see what they can do to avert the looming power crisis. – Rappler.com

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