SPMC coal plant’s second 150-MW in Malita operational next month

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DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/ 26 October) – The second unit of the 300-MW coal-fired power plant of the San Miguel Power Corporation in Malita, Davao Occidental will start operation next month, an official of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) said.

Engr. Glen Resston, OIC progam officer of MinDA’s Mindanao Power Development Program told reporters during the Energy Smart Mindanao 2016 at the Park Inn by Radisson Davao on Tuesday that the second unit with 150 MW capacity will further boost the Mindanao grid.

The first 150 MW unit of the SMPC was commissioned in June 2016 and has since been generating power at PhP 1.60 kilowatt per hour  to “a very few electric cooperatives” and power utilities, he said.

He added that SMPC is not fully contracted. Its combined capacity is 300 MW but can be expanded to 600 MW, according to Reston.

He said the Aboitiz-owned Therma South Inc. (TSI) tapped the first unit of the SMPC when one of the units of its 300MW coal-fired power plant in Brgy. Binugao in Toril, Davao City bogged down during summer months.

Filinvest Development Corp.’s 405 MW coal plant, Cagayan Electric Power and Light Company Inc.’s embedded capacity of 155 MW, and Aboitiz Power’s Manolo Fortich Hydropower Project with 68 MW in Bukidnon will also be connected to the grid before yearend, according to Reston.

By end of 2016, Reston said they  foresee over 1,000 MW in power surplus.

He said they hope to address this by putting in place an electricity market that will provide a mechanism to reallocate the excess power to underserved areas of Mindanao.

Filinvest Development Corp.’s 405 MW coal plant, Cagayan Electric Power and Light Company Inc.’s embedded capacity of 155 MW, and Aboitiz Power’s Manolo Fortich Hydropower Project with 68 MW in Bukidnon will also be connected to the grid before yearend, according to Reston.

Art Milan, senior vice president of Davao Light and Power Company (DLPC), said Tuesday that Mindanao will have a power surplus for the next five years “assuming that the demand will grow at an average of six percent a year.”

He pushed for the interconnection of Visayas and Mindanao grids and electricity market to supply the surplus to Visayas island that is currently tight on power.

“(We need) to establish the Mindanao Wholesale Electricity Spot Market, so excess capacity can find a place where to sell the capacity. Without which, they have to shut it down,” he said.

He added that opening the island to the electricity market will be attractive to investors since it will allow them to put up plants anywhere in the Philippines and distribute power across the country.

However, he said the only catch is that the Agus-Pulangui Hydropower Complex must be privatized first before the wholesale electricity market can take place under the Energy Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001.

The Agus-Pulangui Hydropower Complexes comprises more than half of Mindanao’s source with an installed capacity of 982 MW. The entire Agus-Pulangui Hydro Power Complexes comprises seven plants – Agus 1, Agus 2, Agus 4, Agus 5, Agus 6, Agus 7, and Pulangui 4.

The EPIRA, which created the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM), PSALM, excluded Agus-Pulangui from privatization for a period of 10 years beginning in 2001. The PSALM placed it for privatization by 2017. (Antonio L. Colina IV /MindaNews)

 

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