Power rates to drop by February, PCPC president assures Benitez

Palm Concepcion Power Corp. in Iloilo.*PCPC FB photo

Power rates of Central Negros Electric Cooperative (CENECO) should drop next month.

Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez said on Friday, January 13, that he was informed by Nicandro Fucoy, president and chief executive officer of Palm Concepcion Power Corp., that PCPC will be reducing the price of fuel by P4.13 per kWh in its 35-megawatt power supply contract with CENECO.

Benitez had earlier questioned the price difference in the two contracts between PCPC and CENECO, especially the pass through price of coal.

In its 35MW 10-year contract from Dec. 26, 2017 to Dec. 25, 2027 PCPC has been charging P14.6961 per KWh for power sold to CENECO and in its 20MW 1-year contract from July 6, 2022 to July 5, 2023 has charged P10.2747 per KWH.

Benitez has asked the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to investigate where PCPC is sourcing its coal and at what price. He said the firm could be charging the much higher rate for coal from Australia and buying its supply from Indonesia.

The price of coal from Indonesia is now about one-third the price of supply from Australia, he said.

If PCPC has been charging the Australian rate but sourcing its supply from Indonesia, it should give a rebate on previous billings, Benitez said.

Benitez said he wants PCPC to show him the receipts on where it is buying its coal and at how much.

Fucoy, in a text message to Benitez, said PCPC was finally able to negotiate with its coal supplier for relief in the price of coal.

In its February billing, the fuel cost covered by the 35MW contract will drop by P4.13 per kWh, Fucoy said.

“My question is how all of a sudden by magic he can now do that by February,” Benitez said.

Fucoy has asked to meet with the mayor to explain the price difference and to address his other questions.

The meeting is set on Tuesday, Benitez said.*

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