Occidental Mindoro outages to decrease as OMCPC starts full operation

Occidental Mindoro residents can expect reduced power outages as the Occidental Mindoro Consolidated Power Corporation (OMCPC) began full capacity operation of its 30-megawatt (MW) plants on April 29.

Antonio Almeda, administrator of the National Electrification Administration (NEA), assured that the move would significantly reduce, if not eliminate, power outages in the province.

“Last Thursday I sat down with Louie Banson, owner of OMCPC, to determine and solve the problem of why OMCPC’s power plants in the province are not operational,” Almeda said.

The full capacity operation of OMCPC’s plants will cover Occidental Mindoro’s peak electricity demand.

Banson clarified that the hesitation to operate the SAMARICA power plant was due to permit issues, as its operation had not been approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

“Kami ay nakatali sa lahat ng permits. Walang permit, walang operation…kung hindi, makukulong ako dahil ilegal ang ginagawa ko,” Banson said.

Almeda secured clearance from the ERC, allowing the SAMARICA plant to begin operations on April 28, 2023. Although this move is expected to result in financial losses for Banson, it will help resolve the power crisis in the province.

“With this go-signal, the OMCPC started the SAMARICA plant’s operation on Friday, April 28, which will incur heavy financial loss for Banson,” Almeda said.

During a press conference, a memorandum of agreement was signed between OMCPC and Occidental Mindoro Electric Cooperative (Omeco), confirming that OMCPC is in full operation and will continue supplying electricity to the province.

Banson attributed the delay to the complex requirements for the recently inaugurated solar power plants in the SAMARICA area but is optimistic that the ERC will approve their file for operation.

With OMCPC’s full capacity operation, the Emergency Power Supply Agreement (EPSA) with DMCI Power Corporation will not continue.

Almeda said that this would save residents from high electricity costs, as power will be bought at its true generation cost. Additionally, the agreement between Power Systems Incorporated (PSI) for their 5MW plant will continue to serve as a reserve power source in case of a power emergency.

Governor Eduardo Gadiano, House Representative Leody Tarriela, and local government officials were present at the conference.

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