Residents and traders in North Cotabato

Residents and traders in North Cotabato, starting Tuesday night, have enjoyed steady supply of electricity, or to say the least, one to two hours of brownouts daily, after Cotabato Electric Cooperative (Cotelco) was given a ‘go signal’ to draw power from the Therma Marine, Inc (TMI) of the Aboitiz Power.

The drawing of eight megawatts of power from the TMI’s barge at Maco, Compostela Valley started around 5 p.m., Tuesday, according to Wilfredo Rolando, head of the Aboitiz Power’s corporate communications and community relations office.

Cotelco general manager Godofredo Homez said the province is now enjoying 28MW to 30MW of power daily, thus, some of the sub-stations of the co-op will experience at least one to two hours of rotating blackouts.

The co-op has at least five sub-stations in the province’s 17 towns and one city that service at least 98,000 electric consumers.

Homez is hopeful the power situation in North Cotabato will improve once the Pulangi-4 hydroelectric power plant in Maramag, Bukidnon starts its operations anytime this week.

The Pulangi-4, since April 19, underwent preventive maintenance.

“If the power plant starts its operations this week, at least 180 megawatts of power would be added to the Mindanao grid, thus, decreasing the region’s power deficiency from 400MW to 220MW. This would mean an improved power situation for the province,” said Homez.

Since January, the province, despite being host to two geothermal power plants located at Mount Apo, has been experiencing long rotating blackouts.

On April 28, a local official from Kidapawan City filed a civil case against Energy Secretary Jose Almendras and other power firm executives at the Regional Trial Court branch 23 here.

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