MANILA, Philippines—Mapalad Power Corp. of the Alcantara group has pulled all stops to ramp up operations of the mothballed Iligan diesel-fed power facility in time for the national elections on May 13.
The power plant is expected to generate 30 megawatts in additional capacity for the Mindanao grid.
The additional capacity to come from the recently commissioned facility is expected to help ease the worsening power supply crunch on the island.
Last Friday, the power supply deficit in Mindanao stood at 195 MW.
“Mapalad Power technicians and contractor teams have been working long hours to make certain that the ongoing ramp-up will result in the availability of initial electrical capacity by the week of May 6 and achieve full 98 MW capacity by September,” the company said.
The Alcantara group took control of the 20-year-old diesel facility last March 11.
It is currently undertaking a comprehensive rehabilitation and repair program that will entail investments amounting to P1.2 billion.
A ceremonial switch-on for the Iligan facility was held last April 19, which signaled the start of plant operations.
Mapalad Power has already signed power supply contracts with various distribution utilities and electric cooperatives, covering 90 percent of the target 98-MW capacity.
These utilities include Iligan Light and Power Inc. (10 MW); South Cotabato II Electric Cooperative Inc. (30 MW); Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative Inc. (18 MW); Agusan del Norte Electric Cooperative (15 MW); Agusan del Sur Electric Cooperative (10 MW); and Zamboanga del Sur I Electric Cooperative Inc. (5 MW).
According to the Alcantara Group, Mapalad Power and several major distribution utilities in Mindanao, along with some local government officials, have already asked the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to expedite the process of approving the power sales agreements.
Regulatory approval is needed before Mapalad Power can start delivering power to the distributors.
For its part, the ERC has reportedly “responded positively to the request and is working to accelerate the approval process.”—Amy R. Remo