Maasim, Sarangani Province – The Alsons Power Group marked the start of  civil works for the second 105 megawatt (MW) section of the Group’s 210 MW Sarangani Energy Corporation (SEC) baseload coal-fired power plant with   President Rodrigo Duterte leading the kick-off at the SEC plant site  in Maasim, Sarangani Province on Thursday, January 26.

Dubbed as a “double celebration,” the event also included the ceremonial switch-on by the President  of the $570-million SEC plant’s first 105 MW section which  started commercial operations in April of 2016, delivering much-needed  baseload power to the Mindanao grid and  helped end the five-year power crisis in the island.

SEC’s Section 1 currently supplies power to more than three million residents of the provinces of Sarangani, Compostela Valley, Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur; the cities of General Santos, Iligan, Bayugan, Butuan, Samal and Tagum, as well as some key areas in Davao del Norte and South Cotabato.

SEC’s 105-MW Section 2 is expected to start operating in 2019, in order to provide power to an additional three million residents in provinces of South Cotabato, Davao del Sur, Misamis Oriental, North Cotabato, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur including the cities of Cagayan de Oro, Dapitan, Digos, Dipolog, Koronadal, Kidapawan and Pagadian.

The Alsons Power Group is the first and most experienced independent power producer in Mindanao, and the double celebration for the SEC baseload plant – touted to be the single largest power investment in Sarangani Province and the whole Region 12 – underscored the company’s unwavering commitment to support the economic growth of the region by providing a reliable and stable source of power through its various subsidiaries.

President Rodrigo Duterte leads the ceremonial switch-on with (from left) Daelim Inductrial Co. President and CEO Young Cook Kang, Korean Ambassador Kim Jae-Shin, Alsons Consolidated Resources Chairman Tommy Alcantara and Energy Secretary Al Cusi.

President Duterte has made development outside Metro Manila a major thrust of his administration, with particular emphasis on Mindanao. Access to a stable supply of electricity is a key component in fueling the growth of industries and in positioning Mindanao as a viable investment destination – which in turn will provide job generation opportunities for residents.

According to Alsons Consolidated Resources and Sarangani Energy Corporation chairman Tomas I. Alcantara, “Access to safe, reliable, and affordable power is essential to development. Alsons Power has not only played a pivotal role in ending the power shortage in Mindanao, with today’s launch of SEC Section 2 and this year’s planned start of construction of another 105 MW baseload plant in Zamboanga City, as well as a 15 MW run of river hydro plant in Sarangani, we are helping lay the groundwork for power security in the near future in order to meet the expected rise in demand brought about by Mindanao’s dynamic economic growth. As Mindanao’s first and most experienced independent power producer, we proudly support the Duterte administration’s focus on stimulating growth in key areas outside of Metro Manila.”

The government has launched a massive P7-trillion infrastructure program for the next six years, and this is projected to increase the demand for power as more investments are expected to come in.

Aside from the SEC plant, Alsons is also set to start construction this year of another 105-MW baseload plant in Zamboanga City under its San Ramon Power Inc. subsidiary which is expected to be operational by 2020. The company is also investing $650 million in renewable energy for the next six years starting with a 15-MW run-of-river hydro project in Siguil River also located in Maasim, Sarangani.