DMCI power unit invests P 3.5B to pump up off-grid capacity
DMCI Power Corp. (DPC) has earmarked P3.5 billion to expand a fleet of generators in Masbate and Palawan by a total of 27 megawatts.
The Consunji-led off-grid power producer said of that investment kitty, about P2.7 billion would be used to build a coal-fired power plant in Narra, Palawan, while P800 million would be spent on a hybrid diesel-solar power plant in Cataingan, Masbate.
“These investments are in response to the government’s mandate to accelerate the exploration, development and utilization of renewable energy and indigenous fuel resources, thus decreasing our dependence on imported fuel,” DPC chief operating officer Antonino E. Gatdula, Jr. said in a statement.
For Palawan, the planned project would have an installed capacity of 15 MW, complementing an existing capacity of more than 42 MW.
DPC is already operating a 29-MW diesel complex in Puerto Princesa, consisting of five units of 1.25-MW generators and 19 units of 1.21-MW generators.
It also has two units of 4.95-MW bunker-fired generators in Aborlan town as well as two diesel-fired units—2 MW and 1 MW—in Quezon town.
For Masbate, the planned project would have an installed capacity of 12 MW—8 MW of diesel and 4 MW of solar photovoltaic.
The company’s existing fleet in Masbate is anchored by 22 MW of diesel-fed generators and a 15-MW coal-fired facility.
There are also 3 MW of diesel-fired generators each in the towns of Aroroy, Cataingan and Cawayan as well as a 3.75-MW in Balud.
Lower cost of electricity
DPC said it aimed to bring the Masbate project into commercial operation in the first quarter of 2022, and the Palawan project by the second quarter of 2023.
The company added the operation of the new Palawan generator was “also expected to lower the cost of electricity in Palawan, which will reduce the subsidy paid by all consumers.”
Together, the Palawan and Masbate projects would raise DPC’s installed capacity in the “missionary” areas to a total of 163.72 MW from 136.42 MW. These missionary areas are small islands that are difficult to connect to the grid for being too far and where demand is relatively smaller.
DPC was established in 2006 to provide sufficient and reliable electricity to such areas, usually subsidized by a portion of the electricity bills of consumers in bigger areas. Off-takers of DPC include the electric cooperatives in Masbate, Palawan and Oriental Mindoro. INQ
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