Filinvest unit to put up P30B plant in Misamis Oriental
FDC Utilities seeks to ease power crunch in MindanaoBy Amy R. Remo, Michael Lim Ubac |Philippine Daily Inquirer
FDC Misamis Power Corp., a unit of the Gotianun group’s Filinvest Development Corp., is investing P30 billion to put up a 405-megawatt thermal power plant at the Phividec Industrial Estate in Misamis Oriental.
At the Palace on Wednesday, President Aquino witnessed the signing of the multibillion-peso deal between Phividec Industrial Authority, a government-owned and -controlled corporation, and Filinvest Development Corp. (FDC) Utilities Inc. for a 28-year lease contract covering an initial 84.4 hectares of land in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental.
The leased portion of Phividec’s industrial estate will become the site of a coal-fired power plant that will provide additional energy supply to power-starved areas in Mindanao.
Phividec stands for Philippine Veterans Investment Development Corporation.
In a statement, Filinvest Development Corp. said the thermal power plant of its wholly owned subsidiary FDC Utilities Inc. will make use of “clean coal technology.”
FDC Utilities said it would try to complete the first phase of about 270 MW by 2016, to help ease the worsening power supply crunch in Mindanao. The second phase of 135 MW may become operational by 2018, in time for the expected surge in power demand on the island.
FDC warned that unless new power plants are built, the Mindanao power situation will become worse. As a result, investments will not come in, jobs will be lost, factories may shut down, and the people of Mindanao will experience blackouts of up to six hours a day by 2014.
The last major power plant built in Mindanao was the 232-MW coal plant back in 2006.
“Investment in power facilities in Mindanao is essential to ensure that economic growth is equally enjoyed on the island as the country gears up for a more robust economy. With a total of 405 MW of power, FDC Misamis becomes a key player in helping address Mindanao’s need for more stable and affordable electricity supply,” FDC Utilities explained.
The construction of the power facility is expected to help the local economy by creating more jobs, increasing business activities in the area, and generating more taxes, among others, it added.
With FDC Utilities, the Filinvest Group marks a reentry into the power market. The group has accumulated experience in the power industry since 1995 through the ownership of East Asia Power Corp. and Cebu Private Power Corp.
The three-year-old company targets to bring electricity and water to potential growth circles in the Philippines. It aims to spur or further enhance development in communities all over the country while enhancing synergy among the subsidiaries of the Filinvest Group.
FDC Utilities plans to initiate multiple power-generation projects over the next five years, of which the priority would be the 405-MW power plant in Misamis Oriental.
According to a Palace briefer, the FDC Misamis plant will utilize a “circulating fluidized bed boiler” (CFB) coal-fired power plant—a technology that reduces the sulfur dioxide emission as well as nitrogen oxide to negligible levels, thus reducing the power plant’s impact on the environment.
However, the technology will still utilize fossil fuel (coal) to generate electricity, and will thus contribute to global warming.
In his message following the signing ceremony, Aquino said Filinvest’s Misamis project would constitute a significant part of the long-term solution to Mindanao’s energy problems.
Since 2010, the Aquino administration has been making structural changes in the power sector, encouraging the private sector to come in and put up power plants.
Sultan Bolkiah of Brunei Darussalam, who met with the President in Malacañang last Tuesday, also revealed plans to bring natural gas to Mindanao.