OFF-GRID electricity generator DMCI Power Corp. is set to build a wind power plant in Semirara Island, home of the biggest coal reserve in the Philippines.
The company said it intends to finalize the wind power capacity in the coming months, with projections ranging from 8 megawatts to 12 megawatts and operational implementation expected within 12 to 15 months. The project will be funded and undertaken independently by the company.
“We are also looking at solar energy to augment the supply in the island, but we are prioritizing wind resource development because it has shown the most promise,” DMCI Power President Antonino E. Gatdula Jr. said.
Gatdula cited that current studies suggest that wind power could potentially deliver a 33-percent plant utilization rate, compared to just 17 percent for solar.
“Capital expenditure per megawatt for both wind and solar projects are also roughly the same,” Gatdula added.
In a 2001 wind resource study conducted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, a United States Department of Energy laboratory, it was found that Semirara Island has some of the best wind resources in the Philippines.
The wind corridors between Luzon and Panay, including Semirara Islands and extending to the Cuyo Islands, were found to have good-to-excellent wind power density and speed for utility-scale or village power applications.
DMCI Power, a wholly-owned subsidiary of DMCI Holdings Inc., is in the process of validating these wind resource estimates to determine the final location and capacity of its wind project.
MEANWHILE, Semirara Mining and Power Corp. (SMPC) is set to make its second trial coal shipment to Japan this June, in a bid to reduce its dependency on the Chinese market.
The company will export 50,000 metric tons of Semirara coal to Shikoku Electric Power Corp. for its 700-megawatt coal fired ultra-supercritical power station.
“China is still our main foreign buyer but with their industrial output growing slower than expected, we want to develop other Asian markets like Japan,” SMPC President and COO Maria Cristina C. Gotianun said.
From January to March, Semirara coal shipments to China, which accounts for 72 percent of exports, plunged by 50 percent to 1.1 million MT from 2.2 million MT.
South Korea was a steady market at 300,000 MT, representing one-fifth of export sales. The rest of the exports went to Japan at 5 percent and Brunei at 3 percent.
SMPC first made a trial shipment to Japan in January 2023, selling 78,410 MT of mid-grade coal to J-Power, a utility company that operates coal, hydroelectric, wind and geothermal power stations.
“For 2023, we are targeting to export around 30 percent of our full-year sales target of 15 to 16 million MT,” Gotianun said.