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House inquiry pushed on Ceneco-Kepco deal

BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III

Power Watch Negros will seek a Congressional inquiry on the one-year extension of the current agreement between Kepco-Salcon Power Corporation and the Central Negros Electric Cooperative.

Wennie Sancho, secretary general of Power Watch, said that instead of extending the agreement with Kepco for the supply of the 40-megawatt base load of Ceneco, the latter should have acted on the recommendations of the Third Party Bids and Awards Committee.

In a bidding on April 12, the TPBAC recommended a new contract between Ceneco and Kepco for the next 10 years at P3.2929 per kilowatt-hour, the lowest bid at that time, Sancho said.

Earlier, Ceneco acting general manager Danny Pondevilla clarified that they extended the current contract for the delivery of the base load power supply for a year, but only for 20MW.

But Sancho said it’s still detrimental to the consumers since the extension of contract would mean that Ceneco will pay P977.6 million in a year.

“Ceneco could have spared us from paying millions if they had exercised prudence by choosing P3.29 per kWh,” he added.

Power Watch sought the help of the Department of Energy, through Secretary Alfonso Cusi, last week before formal complaints will be filed, Sancho said.

Aside from the current supply agreement with Kepco, Ceneco also has an existing contract of 24MW with the Cebu-based coal-fired power plant that will expire in 2022.

Other contracts entered into by the firm include the 20MW with Green Core Geothermal Inc. in Negros Oriental until 2025, and 35MW from Palm Concepcion Power Corp. in Iloilo, that will end in 2025. For Ceneco’s peaking load, they contracted 18.9MW from the Central Negros Power Reliability Inc., formerly Energreen Power Development and Management Corp., based in Bago City, Negros Occidental, until 2032.*

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