ALCANTARA-LED Alsons Consolidated Resources, Inc. (ACR) is eyeing Indonesia for the expansion of its energy portfolio as part of a bid to grow into a regional energy player and amid the immense potential offered by the Asean economic integration.
“We are looking at the Celebes, Sulawesi area because of its proximity to Mindanao and because of the literature that we have read on the plans of Indonesia to encourage infrastructure and economic development in the eastern part of Indonesia,” ACR chairman and president Tomas Alcantara told reporters on the sidelines of the company’s annual stockholders meeting held recently.
ACR plans to invest in power in Indonesia, particularly in fossil-fuel based power which is indigenous to that area.
Alcantara said the Alsons group is talking to its traditional partners. “Toyota is already there and some Singaporeans,” he said, but did not divulge the names of other potential partners due to non-disclosure agreements.
Toyota Tsusho Corporation (TTC), the trading company of the Toyota Group, is ACR’s partner in the 210-megawatt coal-fired baseload power plant of Sarangani Energy Corporation (SEC) in Maasim, Sarangani Province.
The wisdom of looking at Indonesia as a potential market for investment is because of its proximity to Mindanao’s southern cities of Davao and General Santos, Alcantara explained.
“North Sulawesi is 45 minutes away from Davao by plane…that is how close Indonesia is. It is like our natural market,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Alsons group said business in Mindanao has not been adversely affected by President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of Martial Law.
“The declaration of Martial Law over the island of Mindanao has not in any way disrupted or affected the normal course of Alsons Power’s operations,” Alcantara said.
“We respect and fully support the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte to institute all legal measures allowed within the framework of the Constitution in order to ensure the safety and security of the island,” he said.
Alcantara is hopeful that the security situation in Marawi will normalize at the soonest time possible.
“We are confident that the government is in firm control of the situation and we remain steadfast in our commitment to the development of the island of Mindanao and the rest of the Philippines,” he added.
He also said all of their projects under development are on track to completion, including
Section 2 of the 210-MW SEC, projected to commence commercial operations in the first half of 2019.
Upon its completion, it will provide baseload power to South Cotabato, Davao del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Cagayan de Oro City, and other key areas of Mindanao.
The first 105-MW section of the SEC plant began operating in April of 2016. At a cost of nearly $600 Million, the SEC power plant is the single largest investment in Sarangani Province and the entire Region 12.
Within 2017, ACR expects to begin construction of the 15-MW Siguil River run-of-river hydroelectric plant in Maasim, Sarangani; and the 105-MW San Ramon Power, Inc. (SRPI) baseload coal-fired power plant in Talisayan, Zamboanga City.
ACR likewise announced that it would soon undertake a solar power project in the General Santos-Sarangani area.
ACR-affiliated power facilities are expected to have a total generating capacity of 588 MW by the end of 2021, which would meet more than 25 percent of Mindanao’s projected peak power demand for that year.