Aquino to grace opening of Aboitiz-owned coal-fired power plant

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/05 January) — President Benigno Aquino III will grace the inauguration of the coal-fed 300 megawatt Therma South Energy Project in Toril, Davao City on Friday.

Therma South Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Aboitiz Power, has just completed the construction of the 300 MW two-unit power project which started in 2012.

The first 150-MW unit started commercial operation in September 2015.

The power firm infused some P25 billion for this project and, at its peak, employed over 4,500 workers, mostly from its host communities.

Out of the 300 MW, at least 100 MW has been contracted to Davao Light and Power Company, another Aboitiz subsidiary, which has an average daily demand of 340 MW.

The power plant will supply power to the cities of Davao, Cagayan de Oro, General Santos, Butuan, Kidapawan, Cotabato and Tagum, and the provinces of Davao region, Caraga region, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, parts of Bukidnon, parts of Misamis and parts of Zamboanga peninsula.

Since the 2012 power crisis, power companies have been encouraged to invest in Mindanao, but stakeholders said the island should achieve a 50-50 balance in power mix between hydro and fuel sources.

During a forum on power outlook for Mindanao last month, Noriel Christopher Reyes, science research specialist II at the Department of Energy’s Electric Power Industry Management Bureau, said four units of coal-fired power plants with a combined capacity of 550 megawatts will open by first half of 2016.

San Miguel Power Corporation will start commercial operation of its two power plants, each having a capacity of 150 MW, in the second quarter, Reyes said.

Meanwhile, Senior Insp. Milgrace Driz, city police office spokesperson told reporters on Tuesday that around 500 police officers from the Police Regional Office’s Regional Public Safety Battalion will provide security to the president.

She added the city and Davao del Sur will deploy additional personnel for the president’s arrival.

The power plant is located Toril and Barangay Inawayan of Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur.

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte was also invited to the event, along with officials from the Department of Energy, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and executives from Aboitiz Power. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)