Sanchez: NPC has vowed to re-deploy power barge here
posted 24-Jun-2019  ·  
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To much applause from officials of the First Catanduanes Electric Cooperative, Inc. (FICELCO), congressman-elect Hector Sanchez announced last Friday that the National Power Corporation (Napocor) has reconsidered its earlier decision on the power barge, the deployment of which it deferred three months ago.

During his second consultative meeting with FICELCO officials this time at its Marinawa headquarters last June 7, 2019, Sanchez disclosed that Napocor President and Chief Executive Officer Pio Benavidez Jr. has promised to re-deploy Power Barge 106 to Virac.

The mechanical and electrical engineer-turned-politician, however, did not offer details on the timeline of the deployment, particularly when the state power firm would start construction of the mooring facility at the Virac port.

It may be recalled that despite efforts from the island cooperative and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Benavidez stood firm on his decision as the installation of PB 106 would cost no less than P10 million just for the mooring facilities.

The Napocor official cited as a reason for his stand Sunwest Water & Electric Co.’s installation of 6-megawatt diesel gensets in the Catanduanes grid as part of its 2nd Amendment of the Energy Supply Agreement with FICELCO.

    Present during the meeting at Marinawa were Sanchez’s technical team, FICELCO General Manager Raul Zafe, the board of directors led by President Rodolfo Vargas, National Electrification Administration (NEA) project supervisor Danilo Desuyo and SUWECO business unit head Floro Barrameda.

    Together with his team, the congressman-elect went over FICELCO’s distribution system and discussed possible solutions to various issued affecting the grid, particularly persistent unscheduled power outages and low voltage along the Caramoran-Pandan distribution line.

    He asked the cooperative to be proactive and forward-looking in planning for future power needs, especially in addressing the potential development in identified tourist spots and town centers as well as consideration of Hiyop point as site of a wind power plant.

    He said he would continue to work for the realization of the submarine cable connection to the mainland grid.

    Aside from his congressional district office at the Legislative Building at the capitol compound, Sanchez said he would put up satellite district offices somewhere in Pandan-Caramoran and in Viga.

    “Huwag tayong bibitaw,” he urged the co-op officials and other stakeholders. “Malapit nang masolusyunan ang ating mga problema

In an interview after the meeting concluded about four hours later, Sanchez said that while the initial meeting identified key issues, the discussions were much clearer now and there is a definite direction in the joint effort to resolve the problems in the grid.

He also asked the FICELCO board to pass a resolution requesting him for the free use of two basket trucks for use in line maintenance as well as the use of a 1,200-square meter lot along the Pandan-Caramoran road as the cooperative’s satellite office and stockyard of line materials.

Aside from updating its Distribution Development Plan, the board is also acting positively on the congressman-elect’s suggestion that two diesel gensets of SUWECO be transferred to its Hitoma power plant to deliver additional power to the two nearby towns and eliminate the low voltage problem.

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