Sarangani coal-fired power plant expected to start commercial operations by October–Alsons

GENERAL SANTOS CITY—Energy firm Alsons Power Group is targeting to start by October the commercial streaming of the initial phase of its 210-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Maasim town in Sarangani province.

Joel Aton, quality assurance manager of Alsons Power’s subsidiary Sarangani Energy Corp. (SEC), said on Monday they are currently finalizing the arrangements for the commissioning and operationalization of the 105-MW component of the P13-billion power-plant project.

He said that the power supplies that will be generated by the plant will be added to the capacity of the South Cotabato II Electric Cooperative (Socoteco II) and several other distribution utilities in Mindanao.

Socoteco II, which serves this city and parts of Sarangani and South Cotabato provinces, had forged a power sales agreement with SEC for the provision of 70 MW of power from the coal plant, which is based in Barangay Kamanga in Maasim town.

“We’re on track right now in terms of the October target for our commercial operations,” he said in an interview.

Aton said the construction of the plant’s remaining 105-MW component or second phase is currently ongoing and is due for completion by the end of 2016.

With the operationalization of the plant, he said they expect the power supplies in the Mindanao grid to further stabilize.

As of Monday, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines placed the island’s system capacity at 1,486 MW and peak demand at 1,401 MW, or a reserve of 85 MW.

However, the Mindanao grid’s power situation is still considered volatile as seen during the maintenance shutdown implemented last month by several power plants that triggered long rotational brownouts in parts of the area.

Citing their projections, Aton said the plant’s total capacity will be more than enough to stabilize the island’s power reserve and address the requirements of some areas.

“The long brownouts will no longer be a problem once the plant will fully operate by the end of 2016,” he said.

Aton said the plant’s first phase will specifically serve around 3.4 million power consumers in the provinces of Sarangani, Compostela Valley, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur and Davao del Norte as well as the cities of General Santos, Island Garden City of Samal and Tagum.

He said an additional of 3.8 million power users in the provinces of Zamboanga del Norte, South Cotabato and North Cotabato will be served with the streaming of the second component by the end of 2016.

Overall, Aton said the coal-fired power plant in Maasim, which is being built by South Korea’s Daelim Industrial, Ltd., is already 90 percent complete.

He said it features state-of-the-art technologies like circulating fluidized bed boilers and steam turbine generators made by Fuji Electric Co. of Japan.

The power plant, which will cost around $570 million once fully completed, is considered as the biggest investment venture or project that entered the region in the last three years.





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