Alcantara firm sets construction of coal-fired power plant in Zambo

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/10 October) – The San Ramon Power Inc. (SRPI) of the Alcantara Group is set to start the construction of its 105-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in this city after the Energy Regulatory Commission approved its power sale agreement with the local electric cooperative.

SRPI consultant Ruben Conti said the construction will likely start in the second quarter of next year and will be completed in three years’ time.

Conti made the announcement citing the ERC’s approval of the power sale agreement between SRPI and the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative (Zamcelco).

SRPI and Zamcelco signed the agreement on March 26, 2013 and submitted it to ERC for approval.

Conti said the PSA was approved on September 15 and was posted on the ERC website, on October 1.

The agreement says SRPI will supply 85 MW to Zamcelco for a period of 25 years amounting to P90.8 billion.

“The decision has come out. That means the PSA of SRPI and Zamcelco now has a legal basis,” Conti said.

He added the approved PSA will be presented to banks where SRPI have applied for loans totaling $290 million for the plant construction.

He said the loans comprise 70 percent of the project cost. SRPI will shoulder the remaining 30 percent.

The plant will be constructed in a 30-hectare area inside the Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone and Freeport Authority in Sitio San Ramon, Barangay Talisayan.

Conti said they will hire around 700 to 1,000 workers to construct the power plant. Once operational, the SRPI will employ 200 personnel for the facility.

George Ledesma, Zamcelco general manager, said the approval of the power sale agreement was a welcome development for the cooperative.

Ledesma said the plant will help solve local power shortage especially during the dry months due to lower water level at Mindanao’s hydropower plants.

For the past years, Zamcelco had been implementing rotational blackouts of four to eight hours daily during summer due to insufficient power supply from the Mindanao grid. (MindaNews)