Bantayan Island sees stable power with new electricity provider

POWER ON. Local government officials in Cebu and executives from Vivant Corp. inaugurate the new Isla Norte Energy Corp. (INEC) power plant in Barangay Bangbang on Bantayan, which is Cebu's northernmost island, on Wednesday (Nov. 10, 2021). This marked a major milestone in addressing the years-long power woes in the famous tourist beach destination. (Contributed photo)

CEBU CITY – After years of suffering from rotational brownouts, residents of Bantayan Island are now assured of having a steady, stable, and more than sufficient power supply.

This, after local government officials in Cebu and executives from Vivant Corp. inaugurated the new Isla Norte Energy Corp. (INEC) power plant in Barangay Bangbang on Cebu's northernmost island Wednesday.

In a statement on Thursday, Arlo Garcia Sarmiento, president of Vivant, said: “After three years and a half, we have a world-class power plant ready to serve Bantayan”.

INEC is a joint venture of Vivant Integrated Diesel Corp. and Gigawatt Power Inc. After winning the bid, INEC entered into an agreement with Bantayan Electric Cooperative (BANELCO) to supply power for 15 years.

BANELCO distributes power to the whole island which is composed of three local government units: Santa Fe, Bantayan, and Madridejos.

Sarmiento said the construction of the power plant began in 2018 and was finished on time, despite the difficulties brought by the current coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

The plant is equipped with European-made turbines that enable INEC to produce power at a capacity of 23.3 megawatts. This is more than enough power to cover BANELCO’s current demand, which is only at 8.5 megawatts.

“We brought in engines from one of the premier manufacturers and brands in Europe. These engines totaling 23 megawatts capacity will provide the power Bantayan Island needs today and the years to come,” INEC president and chief executive officer Emil Andre Garcia said in his inaugural speech.

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, the guest of honor during the event, said while the provincial government is building the necessary road network to make the island a prime tourist destination, she also recognized the crucial role of the power sector in providing steady and long-term power supply.

“I am happy because this comes right on time when we are trying to bring back a crippled economy, an economy that was devastated because of the restrictions of Covid-19,” Garcia said.

While INEC is still waiting for the Power Supply Agreement (PSA) with BANELCO to be approved by the Energy Regulatory Board (ERC), it was granted a 90-day Provisional Authority to Operate last month to help address power woes in the island.

During the inauguration, a ceremonial switch-on also took place led by Garcia, Vivant executives, and local government officials. (PNA)

Source: Business Diary Philippines

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