Napocor owes Mindoro IPP P2B in subsidies
BY IRE JOE LAURENTE
The Manila Times
CALAPAN CITY, Oriental Mindoro: A big independent power producer in the province is poised to reduce its generation capacity if the subsidy owed to them by the National Power Corp. (Napocor) under the Universal Charge for Missionary Electrification (UC-ME) Subsidy would not be released soon. This only adds to the woes of consumers here, who have been enduring 10 to 12 hours of brownouts if the power plant completely shuts down its operations, the Alliance of Stakeholders for Sufficient and Affordable Power (Assap) had warned. In a letter dated Sept. 15, 2022 to the Oriental Mindoro Electric Cooperative (Ormeco), a copy of which was furnished by Assap to The Manila Times on Wednesday, DMCI Power Corp. (DPC) said that Napocor owes them P2.019 billion, of which some P1.140 billion was already overdue. “We have been in constant communication with Napocor and we have written to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) several times to resolve the problem. Unfortunately, no definite timeline and solution are committed to settling our subsidy claims for April to August 2022. We were informed that Napocor is experiencing difficulties in settling all claims in the UC-ME purportedly because of the unusually high price of fuel,” DPC said in its letter. DPC explained that they use the subsidy for the fuel expenses necessary to operate their power plants. They also added they have exhausted all possible means to address the delay in collection, including borrowings, to bridge the operating requirements of the power plants to achieve an uninterrupted supply of power. “As a consequence of the delay, DPC is incurring additional costs of borrowing. This kind of accommodation is not sustainable and we run the danger of being forced to stop operations altogether after its remaining funds are completely exhausted,” the letter further said. The power provider also said that unless the subsidy is settled, it would be constrained to manage its limited funds by operating at a reduced capacity by the end of September this year. DPC is providing a total of 19 megawatts to Ormeco. In a text message to The Times, Ormeco acting general manager Engr. Humphrey Dolor said they are communicating with Napocor about the matter but clarified that it is a national issue and the cooperative can only do so much. “I believe they are doing what they can to get the subsidy,” Dolor said in his message, adding that if the controlled operation of the DPC power plants pushes through, the province would again experience frequent rotational brownouts.