Permitting problem delays projects to avert power shortage in Mindanao
Permitting problem delays projects to  avert power shortage in Mindanao
The Department of Energy (DOE) sees the problem of securing permits from local government units to have delayed the needed projects that would address the perceived power shortage in Mindanao.

Since 2010, the DOE has been warning that Mindanao needs additional baseload generating capacity which is why the agency is calling on private investors to attract more investment in the said region. Unfortunately, there are problems in securing permits from local government units, thus resulting in delays of projects, DOE statement released on Monday (July 8) reads.

The agency believes the power shortage problem will continue as long as there are no new baseload plants.

On Friday, (July 5) Rodger Velasco, the president of Davao Light and Power Co. during the maiden edition of the Business Forum at Hukad in Ayala Malls Abreeza said power shortage may happen in Mindanao in five years if no new power plants are constructed to address the growing power needs in the island.

He said the peak average demand in Mindanao is projected at an average of 2000 megawatts (MW) which is above the 1,500 MW in the last summer at the height of El Niño.

“We feel that Mindanao will be short of power in five years or earlier depending on how fast we grow if there are no power plants put up now or in the next two years,”  he said.

It will take three years to construct the power plant and another two to three years for permitting requirements from the government, he added.

Velasco said the private sector together with DOE currently discussing the issue to drum up investors’ interest to build powerplants.

“The ultimate goal is to have new investors because if there are no new players, a shortage will happen. For Davao Light, we cannot put up our plant because we are prohibited under RA 9136 or EPIRA (Electric Power Industry Reform Act). What we can do is to work with the key players in Mindanao to attract investors to put up plants like non-hydro or hydro baseload plants, or renewable plants.  What we can do is to contract with willing investors,” he said.

The DLPC comes third to power usage in the country. Manila’s Meralco is number one followed by Visayan Electric Company in Cebu City.  

Meanwhile, DOE  in its statement confirmed that the frequent red alert notices from the  National Grid Corporation of the Philippines(NGCP) led to actual power curtailments in some parts of Mindanao.  

DOE placed the projected peak demand in Mindanao at 1,300 MW while available capacity is only at 1,110 MW (excluding the 200 MW from the power barge of Therma Marine, Inc.). The demand does not include the required reserve margin to maintain the integrity of the grid as mandated by the Grid Code which is currently pegged at 250 MW.







Rodger Velasco president Davao Light and Power Company

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