No brownouts during second set of APEC meetings
Kristine B. Quintas/ATO (The Freeman) - October 1, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Representatives from the energy sector assured that there will be no power interruptions when Cebu hosts the second wave of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings this month.

Engineer Diosdado Sandulan, head of the power network planning of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines, said they have sufficient power supply for the entire Visayas power grid.

The power reserve, he said, is actually higher than 103 megawatts, which is the highest capacity reserve for the Visayas.

“There will be no power interruption since our servers will be enough for the meetings,” he assured during yesterday’s PIA forum.

Engineer Antonio Labios, regional director of the Department of Energy, also assured that the normal power situation will be maintained in the Visayas for the whole duration of the APEC meetings.

He said even if there is power outage, it will not disrupt the holding of the APEC meetings here.

“But, in the event there are power interruptions in the other part of the Visayas kailangan ma-segregate ang Cebu,” he said.

Labios said other electric cooperatives have already vowed to provide power in case Cebu power plants need additional supply.

Engineer Gilbert Pagobo, Mactan Electric Co.  general manager, said other power utilities like the Cebu Electric Cooperative III also assured that they will prioritize the power feeders supplying electricity to APEC meeting venues.

As part of the mitigating power measures, utility firms have already conducted preventive maintenance of their transmission systems prior to the holding of the meetings.

Sandulan said other power plants as well were already advised to reschedule maintenance shutdown.

“All grid maintenance activities were rescheduled in order not to coincide with APEC meetings. Those critical ones were done earlier while the others were rescheduled later,” he said.

The 12th Energy Ministerial Meeting, also part of the continuing APEC conference, will be held at Shangri-la Mactan Island Resort from October 12 to 14. The last time the country hosted such meeting was in 1996.

Engineer Juan Miguel Exaltacion, VECO’s head for Systems Operation Department, said they have set contingency plans for unplanned or unscheduled outages.

He assured that VECO can restore power in a minimum span of time. But in case of rotational brownouts, he said, VECO will exclude the feeders that connect to the venues of the Apec meetings.

“We are having consistent scheduled preventive maintenance activities for all our sub-stations and facilities. There will be no unscheduled interruptions of those assigned venues of APEC,” he said.

Further, Labios said all venues have already put in place standby power generators in case of power interruptions.

But in case of bad weather disturbances, the APEC meeting might be moved to Manila at the Philippine International Convention Center.

Energy Resilient Economies

Carmelita Bariso, DOE policy and planning assistant director, said an important highlight of the EMM12 is the Cebu Declaration under the theme “Towards an Energy Resilient APEC Community.”

The Declaration emphasizes the importance of cooperation among member economies of APEC in responding to the twin challenges of energy security and sustainable development.

Underlying these challenges are the use of clean energy, facilitation of energy investment and trade and the promotion of energy efficiency.

APEC economies are expected to come up and finalize with holistic energy resilient infrastructure plans to mitigate the impacts of disasters and natural calamities on energy infrastructures among the 21 member economies.

A number of disasters that hit areas in the APEC region include: hurricane Katrina (US, 2005), Tabasco and Chiapas floods (Mexico, 2007), Sumatra earthquake (Indonesia, 2009), Tohoku earthquake (Japan, 2011), and typhoon Haiyan (Philippines, 2013).

Recognizing the global concern, the APEC EMM12 pushes for discussion of various best practices on climate-proofing energy infrastructures, avenues for promoting cutting edge energy efficiency tech-nologies, community-based clean energies to help alleviate poverty, and most importantly, energy trade and investment in the APEC community.

This follows the Beijing Declaration of the APEC economies at the 11th Energy Ministers Meeting held on September 2 to 3, 2014 in China, reaffirming their commitment to further strengthen cooperation to address the twin challenges of energy security and sustainable development.  (FREEMAN)

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