Amid power surplus in Mindanao ACR prospective baseload plants already with secured contracts, pushes for RE initiatives
With the prevailing oversupply in Mindanao, Alsons Consolidated Resources, Inc. (ACR) – the publicly-listed company of the Alcantara Group and Mindanao’s first and most experienced power producer – stated that it is pushing thru with its baseload power projects with secured contracts as well as its forays into renewable energy.
During the company’s annual stockholders meeting, ACR executive vice president Tirso G. Santillan cited two baseload plants that will come onstream including one that will start commercial operations in the second half of 2019.
He disclosed that the second unit of the coal-fired power plant of Sarangani Energy Corp. (SEC) in Maasim, Sarangani will start operating later this year with an additional 105 megawatts (MW) that will benefit some 3 million consumers in South Cotabato, Davao del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Misamis Oriental and North Cotabato.
He also said that the San Ramon Power Inc. (SRPI) coal-fired power plant in Zamboanga City will finally start construction in the fourth quarter of this year after naming the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor.
“These prospective baseload plants have nearly all of their capacity fully contracted,” he noted, saying the company had the foresight to enter into power sales agreements early on when Mindanao was still in the midst of a power shortage
In the same meeting, Santillan also said that ACR continues to pursue its initiatives in renewable energy with run-of-river power projects in Mindanao and the Visayas.
“Our first renewable venture– the Siguil Hydro project – is on-track and we expect to go full blast with civil works later this year as we target the start of commercial operations in 2022,” he disclosed.
The company also plans to develop specific sites with a hydro potential totaling about 200 MWs in specific sites including the Bago River in Negros Occidental, the Sindangan river in Zamboanga del Norte, and locations in Davao Oriental, Maitum Sarangani, the two Agusan Provinces, and Surigao del Sur.
With the start of commercial operations of SEC’s second plant later this year, ACR will have a total installed capacity of 468 MW by the end of 2019. Once the Siguil hydro project begins operating in the next three years and when SRPI goes onstream soon after, the company is expected to account for around 25% of Mindanao’s projected peak power demand.
The present situation of excess power capacity in Mindanao was brought about by the influx of baseload coal-fired power plants which started to come online begining 2015.
Santillan said such climate of surplus capacity also posed challenges to ACR’s diesel plants and prompted the company to embark on initiatives for these plants to provide ancillary services to the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) to supply peaking, back-up and replacement power to Mindanao’s distribution utilities and electric cooperatives.
Last year, NGCP signed an ancillary services procurement agreement (ASPA) with ACR’s Western Mindanao Power Corp. (WMPC for its 100-MW diesel plant in Zamboanga City to provide the grid operator with dispatchable generating capacity, reactive power support, and black start capability that would stabilize the power grid in the Zamboanga Peninsula.
Also last year, ACR tendered a proposal for its Southern Philippines Power Corp. (SPPC) diesel plant in Sarangani to provide ancillary services to NGCP in order to help stabilize the power grid in Region 12.
In 2013, ACR decided to reclassify itself as a primarily power company rather than a holding company. In these few years, Santillan said, the company has managed to make a name for itself as a major player in Mindanao’s power industry.