Bukidnon hydro plant to supply 35% of Mindanao’s power shortage by 2016

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/07 April) — A proposed 52-megawatt hydro power plant project of AboitizPower’s Hedcor in Manolo Fortich town, Bukidnon can help address the power shortage in Mindanao by 2016, Gregorio Jabonillo, Hedcor’s vice president for business development, said.

He said the Mindanao grid is short of 150 MW on its reserves based on the figures from the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP). The proposed hydropower plant can supply 35 percent of the power shortage in the island once completed.

Hedcor will build two cascading plants that will harness power from the Amusig, Guihean and Tanaon rivers in Bukidnon, Jabonillo said.

The Manolo Fortich Hydro 1 will have a capacity of 35.2 MW and the Manolo Fortich Hydro 2 will generate 16.4 MW, he said.

Officials of the Hedcor and of the local government units of barangays Dalirig, Guilang-guilang,Santiago and Maluco of Manolo Fortich; and Brgy. Guihean of Impasug-ong town signed a Memorandum of Agreement on March 25 to 27.

Hedcor plans to begin the construction of the hydro power plants in 2014. Within the two-year construction, “hundreds of residents will be given preference of employment,” Jabonillo

“AboitizPower and its subsidiaries are committed to add much needed capacity in Mindanao,” he told MindaNews.

He said Hedcor is now constructing two run-of-river hydro plants — Tudaya 1 and 2—in Davao del Sur, with a combined capacity of 14 MW.

The Tudaya plants are expansions of the existing Sibulan Hydropower plants, which are generating 42.5 MW for the Davao Region.

Of Hedcor’s 19 hydro plants nationwide, seven are in the region — two in Sibulan, and five in Talomo with combined capacity of 5MW.

Power deficit persists

“A serious power deficit persists in Mindanao as the supply is unable to meet the demand,” Romeo Montenegro, director of investment promotion and public affairs of the Mindanao Development Authority, said in the Regional Media Workshop on Power Industry and Renewable Energy Development in Mindanao here last month.

He said Mindanao will require at least 500MW of new capacity by 2016, another 500MW by 2020, and 1,600MW by 2030.

“The situation is expected to improve only until 2016 when committed projects come on stream,” he said.

He added, “So if we don’t do anything, we might as well brace for two years of possible rotating brownouts, four to eight hours in areas with no imbedded/additional contracted capacities.”

Montenegro pointed out that share of fossil fuels in the energy mix is thus rising, and yet to fully tap clean, renewable and indigenous power sources to minimize foreign exchange and environmental costs.

He cited that the Mindanao energy mix as of this year is 59 percent renewable energy, and 41 percent fossil fuel-based, composed of 10 percent coal-based and 31 percent oil-based energy.

He said by 2016, the Mindanao energy mix, including committed projects, will be 53 percent fossil fuel-based, with 28 percent coal-based and 25 percent oil-based; and, 47 percent renewable energy.

By 2018, the energy mix in Mindanao, including committed projects, will be 57 percent fossil-fuel-based, with 36 percent coal-based and 21 percent oil-based; and, 43 percent renewable energy, Montenegro said. (Lorie Ann A. Cascaro/MindaNews)