The ceremonial groundbreaking of the Alsons Power Group’s 95.2-megawatt In-Island Baseload Back-up Power Plant project in Brgy. Imelda, Ubay Municipality in Bohol on September 14, is led by (from left) Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer Mr. Tirso Santillan, Jr. (6th), Deputy Chief Executive Officer Mr. Antonio Miguel Alcantara (7th), VP & Business Manager for PBU Operation Mr. Jose Luis Angco (3rd), VP for Legal, Regulatory Compliance and Government Relations Atty. Lumen Balboa (extreme left) and VP for Project Management Fernando Corrales (2nd). Joining them were Former Sarangani Provincial Governor and current VP for Operations of the Alsons Agri-Business Unit Miguel Rene Alcantara–Dominguez (3rd) and First Gen’s Energy Development Corporation President & COO Mr. Jerome Cainglet. From the local government units (from right): Barangay Imelda Chair Freddie Lawas, Ubay Vice Mayor Victor Bonghanoy (2nd), Ubay Mayor Mayor Constantino Reyes (3rd), Mr. Edgar del Rosario, representing Bohol District 2 Representative Maria Vanessa Aumentado (4th) and Mr. Jim Flores, representing Bohol Governor Erico Aristotle Aumentado.
Alsons Power Group, Mindanao’s pioneering independent power producer, recently ceremonially broke ground on its 95.5 MW baseload backup power plant project in Barangay Imelda, Ubay Municipality in Bohol, marking the construction of a facility that promises to bring a game-changing solution to the long-standing energy challenges faced by the province.
The power facility which is registered in the energy market as Ubay Power Corporation (UPC), is the latest addition to Alsons’ power portfolio, which will serve as a backup source of electricity for Boholano consumers in the event that the province gets isolated from the Visayas grid during calamities or natural disasters.
“When natural calamities like typhoons and earthquakes hit, Bohol gets isolated from the grid,” said Ubay Municipal Mayor Constantino Reyes.
Mayor Reyes laments how Bohol’s energy supply has been normally precarious, relying heavily on Leyte’s submarine interconnection.
In October 2013, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Bohol. Barely a month after that, Category 5, super typhoon, Yolanda made landfall in the Visayas. As a result of these successive natural calamities, transmission towers of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) were toppled cutting off Bohol from the Visayas grid. The same calamitous situation struck in December of 2021 when Category 5, super typhoon, Odette made landfall in Siargao and passed Bohol on its way to the West Philippine Sea.
“Thanks to this backup power of Alsons, Bohol now has the assurance of a reliable power supply, even in the face of natural disasters,” said Mayor Reyes.
The Odette experience is still fresh in the mind of Barangay Imelda, Ubay Chairman Freddie Lawas.
“Hapit tuig wala mi kuryente dinhi sa Bohol tungod kang Odette,” said Chairman Lawas. [We were without electricity for almost a year because of (Typhoon) Odette.]
This power project will subsequently enhance investments, therefore, increasing local employment opportunities in Ubay and neighboring localities, Mayor Reyes adds.
Also present during the groundbreaking ceremony, Bohol Vice Governor Dionisio Victor Balite applauds the project as a collaboration and a strategic alliance that will ensure a steady supply of electricity to the whole province at least for the next ten years.
“Nalipay gyud mi nga nia na ning proyektuha sa Bohol, dako gyud ning tabang sa among lugar. Wala na gyud tay problema unya sa kuryente busa Abante, Bohol!” Vice Governor Balite said in his speech.
[We have been very pleased with this new project here in Bohol. It is proving to be of great help to our community. Finally, our power issues have been resolved, so let’s march on, Bohol!]
For this Ubay power facility, the Alcantara-led Alsons Power, with its proven decades of experience in energy generation, will install and subsequently operate stand-by modular diesel plants in two phases. UPC as a business affiliate will run and manage the facility, with an initial capacity of 57.7 MW expected to be delivered by 2024, and the remaining capacity by year 2026.
PMM Works Inc. and Ferowelds Construction Inc. will handle the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) of the Ubay power facility.
The Ubay Power facility’s generated capacity is governed by a Power Purchase Agreement (PSA) between First Gen’s Energy Development Corporation (EDC) and One Bohol Power Distribution Utilities (1BP). According to the PSA, EDC’s Unified Leyte Geothermal Power Plant will be responsible for supplying Bohol with a baseload power supply while the Ubay modular diesel facility operated by UPC will serve as an in-island backup power source.
1BP is comprised of the Bohol Light Company Incorporated (BLCI) operating in Tagbilaran City, Bohol Electric Cooperative 1 serving twenty-six municipalities, and Bohol Electric Cooperative 2 providing electricity to twenty-one towns.