Mindanao power woes to persist till 2016
MANILA, Philippines—Mindanao’s power woes will not be over anytime soon as full power capacity in the island will come into operation only in 2015 and 2016.
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma on Thursday assured suffering consumers in Mindanao that the government was “closely monitoring” ongoing power projects that would increase power supply in Mindanao by up to 900 megawatts.
The new power projects include the 200 MW coal-fired plant of the Alsons’ Group and the 300 MW Aboitiz-owned coal-fired plant, which will both come online by 2015.
Another 400 MW coal-fired plant owned by Filinvest will become operational in 2016.
“With 500 MW in 2015 and 400 MW in 2016, there will be an additional 900 MW to address the current power supply requirement, which is around 1,200 MW,” said Coloma.
Citing Department of Energy figures, Coloma said the current supply in Mindanao is 1,064 MW, against the estimated peak demand of 1,222 MW.
“Therefore, there is a shortfall of 158 megawatts,” he told a media briefing.
“This explains why there are rotating brownouts at an average of two to three hours, except in Maguindanao province that is currently experiencing up to more than 10 hours of power interruption daily,” he said.
Mindanao suffered a massive blackout on Feb. 27, which affected at least 12 of its key cities and provinces. Authorities have yet to pinpoint the cause of the disruption.
The island, which relies mainly on hydroelectric-powered plants, has experienced chronic power shortages for years.
“But we can’t solve this by losing one’s temper. The solution is additional capacity. This is a systemic problem that requires a systemic solution to be provided by all of the stakeholders,” he said.
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