Missionary areas get P1.062-billion budget hike for 2015–Napocor

uem3THE National Power Corp. (Napocor) on Friday said that a rise in the demand for electricity in far-flung areas of the country has prompted a budgetary revision for the year.

“The growth of business and economic activities in the missionary areas has prompted Napocor [to] augment its P17.302-billion budget for 2015, with another P1.062 billion, or an additional 6 percent that will come from its internally cash- generated funds,” the state firm said.

The Napocor is forecasting an increase in subsidy payments to private power suppliers, thus, the need for augmentation of its budget for the new power providers (NPPs) and qualified third parties (QTPs).

For 2015 the NPPs and QTPs updated energy sales are projected at 604 gigawatt hours (GWh), representing an 18-percent increase from its original forecast for the year of 511 GWh.

“The increase in demand is mainly because of the upsurge of economic activities and the improved living standards in the islands after boosting electric supply in new growth areas in Palawan, Mindoro, Catanduanes, Masbate and Siquijor,” Napocor President Ma. Gladys Cruz-Santa Rita said.

The additional P1.062-billion budget for this year includes P944- million augmentation budget intended for the October to December 2015 requirements for existing NPPs and QTPs and the realignment of P118-million budget to cover the requirements of additional NPPs, which recently received approval to operate from the Energy Regulatory Commission.

The NPPs and QTPs operating in missionary areas are the Palawan Power Gen Inc., Delta P Inc., DMCI-Masbate, Ormin Power Inc., Power One, Mindoro Grid, Catanduanes Power Generation Inc., Power Source Philippines Inc., DMCI-Palawan, Bantayan Island Power Corp., Siquijor Island Power Corp. and Calamian Island Power Corp.

Meanwhile, the new NPPs that started operation earlier in 2015 are Sunwest Water and Electric Co. in Catanduanes and DMCI-Calapan in Mindoro.

Introduced by the Department of Energy in 2004, the government’s Private Sector Participation Program in the missionary areas has already attracted a total of 16 private power suppliers in the off-grid areas. The program’s main purpose is to accelerate the total electrification of the country and encourage the inflow of private capital in missionary electrification.

Moreover, the Small Power Utilities Group (SPUG), implementing arm of Napocor in providing electricity in missionary areas that are not yet taken over by NPPs and QTPs, also forecasted an increase in demand from 399 GWh in 2014 to 448 GWh in 2015. This is due to the extension of service hours of some power plants and the electrification of new areas. Napocor has identified a total of 1,130 missionary areas that are yet to be energized.

Napocor has recently extended the operating hours of some 53 SPUG plants and put into full 24 hours of operation its plants in the municipalities of Culion, Taytay, El Nido and San Vicente in Palawan, and Caluya in Antique.

Read more: http://www.businessmirror.com.ph/missionary-areas-get-p1-062-billion-budget-hike-for-2015-napocor/

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