Proposed Cebu-Bantayan power link gets RDC 7 endorsement

CEBU CITY, (PNA) — The Regional Development Council 7 sub-committee on power has endorsed the proposal of Rep. Benhur Salimbangon to connect Bantayan Island’s power supply to the Cebu mainland grid through a submarine cable.

Salimbangon, who represents Cebu’s fourth district where Bantayan belongs, said RDC 7 sub-committee on power passed a resolution supporting his proposal and for the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) to conduct a study.

Salimbangon said a study was conducted when he was general manager of Cebu Electric Cooperative (Cebeco) II which found out that the cost of submarine cable was prohibitive.

But Salimbangon said he believes the submarine cable linking Bantayan Island to the Cebu grid is now viable and it can even be cheaper.

“No matter how costly it is, we have to do it,” he said.

Power in Bantayan Island is being supplied by Bantayan Island Power Corporation (Bipcor) with its five bunker/diesel-fired power plants with installed capacity of 8.34 megawatts and dependable capacity of 7.59 megawatts.

Salimbangon said the cost of putting a power plant is expensive, more so on solar power which costs USD1.5 million dollars per one megawatt.

“We might as well put submarine cable,” Salimbangon said.

Bantayan Island, situated off the northernmost tip of Cebu mainland, is one of the province favourite tourist destinations.

It is also known as a commercial center for dried fish and the “egg basket” of Central Visayas.

Aside from Bantayan Island, Salimbangon also raised concerns on power situations in small islands in his district which he said can be provided with generators.

He said Malapascua Island which is also a tourist destination has yet to receive the subsidy from the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) as provided under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA).

Among the other islets that need steady power supply are Kinatarcan and Hilantagaan in Santa Fe town, and Doong, Botigues and Lipayran in Bantayan town.

He said there is no power until now in the islets of Carnaza in Daanbantayan and Hilutongan in Bantayan. People in Gibitngil Island in Medellin are relying mostly on solar power.