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Energy chief pushes for NegOcc power plant

/ 08:36 AM May 08, 2011

BACOLOD CITY — Negros Occidental may face a serious power shortage by 2014 if the province doesn’t build its own power plant starting this year.

The warning came from Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras on Thursday during a meeting with Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. and his chief of staff, Jose Ma. Valencia in Manila.

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“The Secretary said we need a power plant in Negros Occidental very badly and we must act now or face a serious power shortage,” Marañon said.

With the province’s double-digit growth, he added Almendras informed him that Negros Occidental would need to have its own power plant operational by 2014 to meet its increased power demand.

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According to Marañon, the energy secretary also said that Negros Occidental must have its own source of power because the submarine cables transmitting power to the province may be too overloaded to transmit its increased power demand in the future.

If the submarine cables that transmit power from Cebu and Iloilo are damaged by a natural calamity, Almendras warned that Negros Occidental would be left without any power. Economic zones were eyed in Sagay City in the north and Hinobaan in the south. But Valencia said the locators to these areas would be looking for reliable and affordable power.

Marañon said he met with Almendras to discuss the speeding up of the release of documents needed to build up a hydroelectric power plant in Sagay City, which already had a feasibility study.

/INQUIRER

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