The signing ceremony held at the Bethel Guest House last Tuesday was attended by top officials of both power companies, along with some local government officials headed by Gov. Agustin Perdices, Dumaguete City Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria and Rep. George Arnaiz.
Also on hand to witness the signing were representatives from the Negros Oriental Business Development Foundation, Inc., the Negros Oriental Investment Promotions Center, and the Negros Oriental Chamber of Commerce & Industry (NOCCI), which had been lobbying for the deal.
Noreco 2, along with Noreco 1 and 13 other electric cooperatives in the Visayas, had been hedging on entering a deal with Green Core in the hope of getting a better price than the P4.70 per kilowatt hour that it was offering.
The Noreco 2 had been getting its power from the government-owned geothermal plant in Leyte, which was plagued with problems of insufficient supply, high systems loss and low voltage.
“Our stand was that this was not an issue of pricing but of supply,” Ed Du, NOCCI acting president, told the Dumaguete MetroPost.
The Green Core deal indeed resulted in an oversupply of power for Noreco 2 consumers, who only need 41MW on non-peak hours. This is because aside from the 25 MW that Green Core is supplying, Noreco 2 also has a 12 MW standby deal with Korean-owned Keppco for peak hours while holding on to a promise from Napocor for a 41 MW supply until December 2011.
“We submitted our intent to Napocor for the 41 MW but we are not sure if they can supply us with the needed power because the Leyte facility could also be privatized within the year,” said a Noreco 2 source who declined to be identified.
Ricky Tantoco, president of Green Core’s parent company Energy Development Corp., said the contract signing between Noreco 2 and Green Core is a product of discussions which started in January and was reinforced by the power summit conducted by the NOBDF, NOIPC, NOCCI last August. He said after word got around that Noreco 2 was signing up with Green Core, other electric cooperatives also scrambled to get in line.