The Alsons Power Group, the first and most experienced independent power producer in Mindanao, lauded the signing of a US$380-million loan agreement between the Philippine government and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) dubbed as the “Improving Growth Corridors in Mindanao Road Sector Project” (IGCMRSP) to finance 11 big-ticket infrastructure projects to improve road networks in Western Mindanao- particularly in the Zamboanga Peninsula. The package will bankroll the construction of approximately 280 kilometers of national, primary, secondary and tertiary roads and bridges in the Zamboanga Peninsula and Tawi-Tawi, to be implemented from 2018 to 2023.
Saying the roll out of vital infrastructure projects will help maximize the growth potential and speed up the economic development not only of the Zamboanga Peninsula but the entire Mindanao, Alsons Consolidated Resources, Inc (ACR) chairman and president Tomas I. Alcantara expressed the company’s support for the government’s “build, build, build” agenda which is seen to improve the lives of the people in Mindanao and the rest of the Philippines.
“A critical component to sustain economic progress is the availability of a stable, reliable and affordable supply of energy to meet the growing demands of development. As a significant power provider in to the Zamboanga Peninsula and Mindanao, we know that we have a major role to play in fueling the economic growth in the region by investing in the energy sector and building power plants,” said Alcantara who also chairs the Philippines’ Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Advisory Council (ABAC).
Mr. Alcantara also cited the fact that the Zamboanga Peninsula will be the Mindanao contact point in the planned interconnection of the Mindanao and Visayas power grids. “The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines’(NGCP) prospective Visayas-Mindanao interconnection project will link the electrical grids of the two island groups with the linking points in Cebu in the Visayas and Dipolog in Mindanao. By the time of the completion of the interconnection project, we will have two operating power plants strategically located in the Zamboanga Peninsula ready to provide power to the Visayas as well,” Mr. Alcantara noted.
Alsons Power is currently the primary supplier of electricity to the Zamboanga Peninsula’s largest population center- Zamboanga City thru the Group’s 100-megawatt (MW) Western Mindanao Power Corporation (WMPC) diesel plant. This year, Alsons Power aims to commence construction of the 105 MW San Ramon Power, Inc. (SRPI) baseload coal-fired power plant in Talisayan, Zamboanga City. The SRPI plant, which is the biggest power project in the Zamboanga Peninsula is expected to begin operating in 2021 to provide baseload power to the Zamboanga City and other nearby areas.
The group currently operates four power facilities in Mindanao that have helped end the power shortage in the island. Aside from the WMPC plant in Zamboanga City the other power plants are: the 103-megawatt Mapalad Power Corporation diesel plant in Iligan City; the 55-megawatt Southern Philippines Power Corporation diesel facility in Alabel, Sarangani; and the first 105-megawatt section of the 210-megawatt Sarangani Energy Corporation (SEC) baseload coal-fired power plant in Maasim, Sarangani. SEC’s second 105 -megawatt section is currently in the advanced stages of construction and is on-track to commence operations in 2019. The Alsons Chairman also shared that the company has begun preliminary work on a 15-megawatt run-of-river hydropower project at the Siguil River basin in Maasim, Sarangani -the company’s initial foray in the renewable energy business. The Siguil River Hydro power plant is expected to be commercially operational in 2020.
Alcantara concluded, “We are fully committed to the development of Mindanao, and we will continue supporting government efforts to improve infrastructure in order to propel economic growth. Over the years, we have been investing in the energy business to help lay the groundwork for power security in the region, and we will continue to do our part to help Mindanao achieve its fullest economic potential.”