APC to put up 4 Mindanao plants worth P35B
But exec warns power supply crunch still criticalBy Amy R. Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The move is expected to ease the critical power supply crunch on the island, APC president and CEO Erramon I. Aboitiz said in a briefing Thursday.
The additional capacity, which is expected to fill Mindanao’s large supply deficit, will primarily come from the 300-MW clean coal facility of the company’s subsidiary, Therma South Inc., Aboitiz explained.
The remaining 54 MW will come from the 14-MW Tudaya, 12-MW Tamugan and 28-MW Sita-Simod hydropower projects, which will be undertaken by another wholly owned subsidiary, Hedcor Inc.
“Our long-term investments in both power generation and distribution in Mindanao are a testament to our commitment to be part of the economic development of the region. We have been in Mindanao since the 1930s and want to continue to be part of its future growth,” Aboitiz said.
But he warned that Mindanao’s power supply woes would continue until 2015, when the company’s power projects, among the other committed power projects lined up in Mindanao, have started commercial operations.
Currently, Mindanao needs around 1,597 MW daily. But existing facilities on the island can only provide 1,261 MW as of April this year. More than half of the electricity requirements in Mindanao are being provided by the Agus and Pulangi hydropower facilities, which are only generating 641 MW out of the original installed capacity of 982 MW.
This was why Aboitiz stressed the need to put in place several “medium-term solutions to solve medium-term problems,” or within the next three years, and to start implementing long-term solutions to ensure sustainable and adequate power supply in Mindanao.
“There is an urgent need to implement a viable power strategy for Mindanao that will attract long-term investments in power, diversify the power sources, and create a competitive supply market. Let us learn from the past and not provide band-aid solutions or, even worse, solve the problem with expensive solutions that will hound us in the future,” Aboitiz said.
For the medium-term solutions, Aboitiz suggested for the government to rehabilitate and transfer to Mindanao the three power barges currently moored in the Visayas; rehabilitate and operate the Iligan diesel power plant, which can generate 60 MW to 100 MW; and rehabilitate the Agus and Pulangi hydropower plants as well.
For the long-term solutions, Aboitiz said the government must ensure a conducive business environment that would enable a competitive and transparent power landscape; build more coal plants to secure baseload capacity and to diversify the island’s power sources; and connect the Visayas and Mindanao grids to enable the transport of electricity across the country.
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