Firm begins construction of coal-fired power plant in Sarangani

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/17 February)– The civil works have formally started for the second section of Sarangani Energy Corporation’s (SEC) US$ 570 million coal-fired power plant in Maasim town in Sarangani Province.

Engineering firm JGC Philippines, Inc. (JPhil), which was contracted by SEC to build the second 105-megawatt (MW) component of the 210-MW power plant, launched the project’s construction on Thursday following the ceremonial start of excavation at its site in Barangay Kamanga in Maasim.

Joel Lubguban, JPhil deputy project manager, said the site excavation mainly signals the actual start of the power plant project’s engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) works.

“This is an important milestone for (JPhil). Right now, we’re on track with our target to deliver the power plant by the first quarter of 2019,” he said.

He assured the SEC that they will complete on schedule the project’s offshore and onshore works as set in their contract.

SEC awarded to JPhil, a subsidiary of JGC Corporation of Japan, in July last year the offshore and onshore contracts for the EPC works of the second 105-MW coal-fired power plant.

The onshore portion of the project was projected to take 30 months to complete and will involve around 140 JPhil engineers and support staff.

Lubguban said local communities will significantly benefit from the project in terms of employment as they will hire around 1,500 workers for the entire duration of the construction phase.

He said preference will be given to skilled workers coming from Maasim and the neighboring areas.

“We will be doing this work for around 3,000 man hours for the duration,” he said.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte led on Jan. 26 the formal ground breaking and kick-off of the project and the and the ceremonial switch-on of the power plant’s first 105-MW section, which started commercial operations in April last year.

SEC specifically utilized a circulating fluidized bed boiler, described as the latest clean coal technology, “where low sulfur coal are heated to generate steam that in turn propel the steam turbine generator.”

The company said the plant’s Section 1 currently supplies power to more than three million residents in the provinces of Sarangani, Compostela Valley, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, South Cotabato, Davao del Norte, and the cities of General Santos, Iligan, Bayugan, Butuan, Samal and Tagum.

Distribution utility South Cotabato II Electric Cooperative, which serves this city and parts of Sarangani and South Cotabato, had forged a power sales agreement with SEC for a base load supply 70 MW for 25 years.

When eventually operational, the company said Section 2 is expected to serve an additional three million residents in parts of Mindanao.

SEC is 75 percent controlled by the Alcantara Group’s Alsons Consolidated Resources, Inc.and with the 25 percent owned by Toyota Tsusho Corporation of Japan. (MindaNews)