CUC anticipates power needs for development projects

COMMONWEALTH Utilities Corporation acting chairman Weston Thomas Deleon Guerrero urged CUC management to continue its strong representation on the CNMI Strategic Economic Development Committee in order to stay abreast of all development projects.

Deleon Guerrero, at a recent board meeting, noted the significance of CUC’s representation on the committee in order to be better informed about upcoming development projects that will impact the production and supply of power.

“This would be a different way to estimate how much demand there is going to be,” he told CUC executive director Gary Camacho during a presentation on power generation for Saipan, Tinian and Rota.

Camacho said CUC has a good representation in the committee and has been updated on the latest development projects in the CNMI.

He said CUC is also an active member as one of the approving authorities for development projects seeking permits from the Coastal Resource Management board.

In his report, Camacho said power generation for Saipan has 52.1 megawatts of available capacity.

Power Plant 1, which has a 81.2 mw capacity is only producing 40.0 mw from five of its eight engines.

Although it is designed for 10 mw, Power Plant 2 has only a 4.0 available capacity since one of its three engines is currently on a maintenance program.

The total power production of Power Plant 4 is 8.2 mw with only four of the eight engines in operation, Camacho said.

However, he said they are anticipating an additional 11 mw in the next few days with the completion of the maintenance on one engine.

With an additional 4 mw before summer and another 6 mw by June, he said, they would secure an additional 10 to 12 megawatt once they purchase a new engine to replace engine 8.

Deleon Guerrero expressed concern about the maintenance program for the power generation on Tinian and Rota.

Camacho, however, said Tinian’s power plant is operated by Telesource CNMI Inc. and “they have a better maintenance program.”

The 10-year, build-operate-transfer contract signed by Telesource in 1997 has been extended and will expire in 2020, he said.

Currently, Tinian has a 18 mw available capacity with only two of its six engines online while Rota’s 9.0 mw capacity is produced from one of the six engines, he said.

Camacho also reported that 18.3 percent of power outages on Saipan were attributed to power generation while 81.7 percent were caused by transmission and distribution problems.

Source: Marianas Variety :

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