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NAPOCOR blames FICELCO for power crisis

If there is a company to be blamed for Catanduanes' power woes, it should be FICELCO itself.

This is the stand of the National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR) in its official statement regarding the spate of power outages that prompted local officials to declare a state of calamity.

"FICELCO cannot deny responsibility for power failure in their area after it failed to fulfill its obligations under the 2008 PIPO Agreement," said Napocor Vice President for Corporate Affairs Urbano Mendiola. He said that after the agreement was executed, only the lease of NPC plant to FICELCO materialized and other provisions in the said agreement were not fulfilled.

Napocor said that the long term solution FICELCO asked from the National Government and from Napocor for its power supply should have been initiated by FICELCO since this is what the signed agreement required of them.

Likewise, Napocor stated that its continuing presence in the province is just a temporary measure until full privatization is realized and that FICELCO to blame other people for shortfalls that could have been pre-empted on their end would be to evade their own accountability to their customers.

Meanwhile, Napocor Vice President for SPUG Danilo Sedilla officially confirmed Wednesday afternoon that Napocor has already awarded to Monark Equipment the contract for the new rental generating sets with an aggregate of 2.8 MW to replace Cost Plus gensets in the Province of Catanduanes.

Catanduanes is one of the 14 First Wave areas to embark on privatization by virtue of DOE Circular No. 2004-01-001 prescribing the rules for private sector participation in existing Napocor-Small Power Utilities Group (SPUG) areas. Based on the circular, electric coops may conduct a competitive selection process to secure a New Power Provider (NPP) that will take over the generation function of Napocor-SPUG.

Napocor also bid out three new 1MW gensets earlier this year for the Marinawa Diesel Power Plant which will be commissioned on the last quarter of 2014 to replace the rental gensets.

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