Consunji firm eyes 3 power plants in Palawan
The Consunji-led DMCI Power Corp. plans to put up three power-generation facilities in Palawan within the next several years to generate as much as 57 megawatts in additional capacity for the province.
The power plants, according to DMCI Power president Nestor Dadivas, will help plug the current and forecast power supply crunch in Palawan given the continuous economic growth of the province.
Dadivas explained that the company was targeting to start commercial operations of a 27-MW diesel-fired power facility in Palawan by September 1 next year; a 15-MW coal-fired power plant on Oct. 26, 2014; and another 15 MW coal facility by January 2017.
All capacities will be purchased and used by Palawan Electric Cooperative (Paleco), Dadivas added.
The first 27-MW diesel facility is a done deal after DMCI Power bagged the contract to put up the facility during an auction conducted by Paleco, according to DMCI Holdings’ disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Wednesday. The disclosure stated that DMCI Power was named winner after submitting the lowest true cost-generation rate of P9.38 a kilowatt-hour.
DMCI Power has since expressed interest to put up power facilities within the off-grid areas that are being served by state-run National Power Corp.’s missionary electrification arm, the Small Power Utilities Group (SPUG).
Aside from Palawan, the company earlier expressed interest to put up diesel-fired and small coal facilities in other areas in Mindoro and on Tablas Island in Romblon, DMCI Power chairman Isidro Consunji said earlier.
The move to allow private sector investors like DMCI Power to enter the off-grid SPUG areas to build, own and operate generation facilities is aimed at bringing down the power rates for customers serviced by the main grids who also shoulder part of the cost of the subsidy program. The subsidy is recovered from main grid customers through the universal charge for missionary electrification (UCME) component in their power bills.
The Napocor-SPUG operates 232 generating units with a total capacity of 175 MW. It serves 214 island and isolated grids, providing electricity to 47 customers consisting of 39 electric cooperatives, seven local government units and one multipurpose cooperative.—Amy R. Remo
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