Thai-Filipino firm to build $450M power plant

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 03 2008 06:25 PM | Updated as of Jun 04 2008 02:25 AM

Reuters


A Thai-Filipino joint venture firm said on Tuesday it will build a 200-megawatt coal-fired power plant worth $450 million in the southern Philippines to help avert a projected power shortage in the region by 2012.

Conal Holdings Company, a joint venture between the Philippines' Alsons Consolidated Resources Inc and Thai power firm Electricity Generating Plc EGCO.BK, said in a statement it planned to begin construction on the plant, whose generating capacity can be expanded to up to 900 MW, by the middle of next year.

The 200-megawatt Kamanga power plant in Sarangani province on the southern island of Mindanao is expected to come onstream by 2011, with two expansions involving 350 MW each within 15 years from the plant's full operation.

"We expect power supply (in Mindanao) to become tighter and tighter over the next three years, edging towards a shortage 2012 onwards," Gregorio Gonzales, the power facility's project manager, said in the statement.

When completed by 2011, the Kamanga power plant will supply 15 percent of the region's power needs.

Mindanao's generating capacity this year is estimated at 1,850.4 MW, but its dependable capacity is just about four-fifths of the total. Industry regulations require the Mindanao grid to maintain reserve power of at least 23.4 percent of the generating capacity.

Peak demand for the Mindanao region is estimated at 1,440 MW, rising to 1,750 MW by 2015, Conal's statement said.

Coal-fired power plants account for about 25 to 30 percent of the power generation capacity of the National Power Corp (Napocor), the country's biggest power producer.

The Philippines could be at risk from a power crisis by 2011 if new generation plants are not built and aging facilities are not rehabilitated. The bulk of the country's power generation facilities is located in the main island of Luzon.

Napocor has sold almost 50 percent of its generation capacity to the private sector. It hopes to sell more this year to fast-track the rehabilitation of the country's generation plants.