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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, January 17, 2019
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‘Negros coops rely on coal’
BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN

 

The three electric cooperatives in Negros Occidental rely mostly on coal as the source of their power for distribution to their consumers.

This was revealed yesterday by Board Member Manuel Frederick Ko, chairperson of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Committee on Energy, as the committee resumed deliberations on the proposed ordinance to disallow the exploration, establishment and operation of any coal-fired power plant in the province.

Northern Negros Electric Cooperative (NONECO) is 70 percent dependent on coal, Central Negros Electric Cooperative (CENECO) – 72 percent, and the Negros Occidental Electric Cooperative (NOCECO) – 62 percent, Ko said.

NONECO and CENECO also use 15 percent renewable energy and the remaining 15 percent comes from the WESM (Wholesale Electricity Spot Market), Ko said.

The joint Energy and Environment committees of the SP met yesterday and assessed the result of their meeting last month. Next week, they are inviting representatives from electric cooperatives in neighboring provinces to get also a clearer picture on sources of power they are getting for distribution to their consumers, Ko said.

San Miguel Corp. Global Power is planning to install a 300-megawatt CFB (circulating fluidized bed) coal-fired power plant in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental.

Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson earlier said he will not stand in the way, if the city government of San Carlos would be a “willing host” to a coal-fired power plant in its area.

The four dioceses of Negros have issued a joint statement opposing the establishment of any coal-fired power plant in Negros, in support also of the stand of Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr., Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo, and environmentalist groups.

They will continue to conduct hearings on the proposed ordinance even during the campaign period, Ko said.

They will also invite representatives of the Department of Energy to attend their committee hearing, as well as those opposing the establishment of coal-fired power plant, he said.

Ko said they may set a timeline for the completion of their deliberations of the proposed ordinance, after hearing the side of those opposing the establishment of coal-fired power plant.

Marañon had endorsed the proposed ordinance to the SP that calls for disallowing the exploration, establishment, and operation of any coal-fired power plant in Negros Occidental.*

 

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