It’s business as usual for most power, mining firms in Mindanao | Inquirer Business

It’s business as usual for most power, mining firms in Mindanao

The electricity and mining industries in Mindanao are largely on a business-as-usual mode despite President Duterte’s decision putting the entire island under martial law.

The Alsons Power group, which operates several power facilities in Mindanao at an aggregate generating capacity of 363 megawatts, assured its stakeholders that martial law had not disrupted the operations of these assets.

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Also, Global Ferronickel Holdings Corp. said the operations of its subsidiary, Platinum Group Metals Corp. (PGMC) in Surigao del Norte, “remain unhampered.”

However, the Department of Energy said armed men believe to be of the Maute group had the Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative (Lasureco) compound occupied as of Thursday night.

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In a statement, Alsons Power said its four affiliate power facilities continued to operate as scheduled.

The group was referring to the 105-megawatt Section 1 of Sarangani Energy Corp.’s coal-fired facility in Maasim, Sarangani; 103-MW diesel-fired plant of Mapalad Power Corp. in Iligan City; 55-MW diesel-fired plant of Southern Philippines Power Corp. facility in Alabel, Sarangani, and the 100-MW diesel-fired plant of Western Mindanao Power Corp. in Zamboanga City.

“All of our projects under development—such as the ongoing construction of the second, 105-MW (unit) of our Sarangani Energy Corp. baseload plant—are proceeding according to schedule and are on-track to completion,” Alsons Power said.

“We respect and fully support the decision of President Duterte to institute all legal measures allowed within the framework of the Constitution in order to ensure the safety and security of the island,” the group said. “We are hopeful that the security situation in Marawi will normalize at the soonest time possible.”

According to Global Ferronickel, business establishments are “aware of the constitutional safeguards [and] are open and operating.” The group is one of the country’s top nickel producer.

On the other hand, the DOE, citing an official of Lasureco, said a firefight was still ongoing at the cooperative’s compound as of 7:45 p.m. of Thursday.

“They (members of Lasureco’s staff) were able to evacuate the compound by 2 p.m.,” the DOE said. “By that time, the compound was already occupied by gunmen, who are suspected members of the Maute group.”

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In the afternoon of Thursday, Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said the Inter-Agency Task Force on Securing Energy Facilities (Iatsef) had moved to secure the Lasureco compound.

Iatsef is composed of the DOE, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police (PNP) and industry players.

Cusi said Iatsef had received “firm marching orders to secure every energy facility in Mindanao.”

Further, National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) reported that the Mindanao grid was under normal operation.

In a related development, the National Power Corp. gave notice of a plan to shut down one of two generators at the Agus Hydroelectric Plant (HEP), which is located in Marawi City itself.

The objective was to keep Unit 1 of Agus HEP running after an M-79 grenade, said to be fired by the Maute group, landed in the generator’s vicinity.

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TAGS: Alsons Power Group, electricity, Global Ferronickel Holdings Corp., martial law, Mindanao, mining firms, mining industries, Platinum Group Metals Corp. (PGMC)
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