Lanao Norte coal plant to begin operation in May

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 9 May) – The first unit of the GN Power Kauswagan Ltd. Co. (GNPK) in Lanao del Norte is scheduled to begin commercial operation this month while its second unit will be operational in July after completing test commissioning, according to the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).

GN Power Kauswagan Ltd. Co. in Lanao del Norte. MindaNews file photo by BOBBY TIMONERA

MinDA deputy executive director Romeo Montenegro said on Thursday that the two units, comprising the phase 1 of the 540-megawatt coal-fired power plant, the biggest in Mindanao, have an installed capacity of 135 megawatts each.

He said the commercial operation for the two-unit phase 2 of the coal plant had been tentatively scheduled for September and November this year.

GN Power is a joint venture company between Ayala Corp.’s AC Energy Holdings, Inc. and Power Partners Ltd. Co.

On its website, the company claims that GNPK “offers the lowest price among comparable suppliers as evidenced by its contracts with 21 electric cooperatives which were won after a large-scale competitive bidding and have, likewise, obtained approvals from the Energy Regulatory Commission.”

“With GN Power expected to come online in the next few weeks for full commercial operations, then our excess for Mindanao will be roughly 800 MW. However, as we pointed out, this excess is relative, this is only good for today. Three years, four years from now, around 2022 or 2023, we’re looking at the demand for Mindanao already meeting up supply curve,” Montenegro said.

According to the Department of Energy (DOE), the combined installed capacity of the power facilities in the Mindanao grid totaled 3,738.3 MW but the dependable capacity was lower at 3,210.2 MW as of December 30, 2018.

Citing the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, he said Mindanao’s peak demand reached to an all-time high of 1,915 MW last May 6.

Montenegro emphasized the need to collaborate with the private sector to attract investors for power generation in Mindanao so that new power supply would be injected to the Mindanao grid before the demand could outstrip the supply.

“The trajectory of peak demands for Mindanao is climbing up. You can just imagine the completion of real estate projects, expansion of many industries across Mindanao, attributing to the spike in the peak demand for electricity,” he said.

“The good thing, however, is that with this demand in Mindanao, our supply still outstripped this current demand scenario averaging at around 400 to 600 MW of supply excess within Mindanao Grid,” he added. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)