Business leader pushes for power plant in Negros

Frank Carbon, PCCI co-chair for Energy and vice president

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD CITY – A top official of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) is advocating for the establishment of an embedded power plant for the Negros Island Region (NIR), describing the power outlook in the region as “precarious.”

Frank Carbon, PCCI co-chair for Energy and vice president, told the Daily Guardian on Monday that NIR needs at least a 300 MW on-island embedded coal or natural gas power plant for base-load (24/7) power requirements.

“Solar, biomass, or wind cannot provide 24/7 power requirements, plus on-island ancillary services, as variable renewable energies (VREs) and submarine cables are not reliable,” he pointed out.

He stated that without an embedded power plant, NIR “cannot move forward fast, economically, without power security.”

Carbon explained that Negros Island still generates its power supply from Panay Island, which has more than 400 MW embedded base load power plants, and Cebu Island, which has more than 1,000 MW.

He emphasized that each grid or better yet each island, especially in the Visayas area, should have its own Power Development Councils.

“The Department of Energy does the planning but they don’t participate in the execution,” Carbon lamented.

“That’s the very reason why LGUs and Development Councils should make a stand on power security, or else the very purpose NIR was created would not be realized.”

Carbon stressed, “No power means no investments. No investments mean no jobs and livelihood creation.”

He added that without these, insurgency will persist and malnutrition will be rampant.

Carbon said that for now, NIR needs 300 to 400 MW embedded in the region for baseload requirements.

“We could import from Panay and Cebu our intermediate and peaking load requirements,” he pointed out.

He also noted that an embedded power plant in the NIR would lessen transmission costs, transmission system loss, and transmission fees.

The whole island of Negros is now reaching more or less 300 to 350 MW in power consumption, Carbon said.

“If we are totally cut off from Cebu and Panay and only Palimpinon is supplying the whole island, we will have rotating brownouts until we are reconnected to Cebu or Panay,” he said.


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