Alsons Power Group expects energy demand in Mindanao to grow by 2 to 3 percent per year, driven by the region’s strong economic growth, increasing incomes and an upsurge in major investment projects.
“In Mindanao, the demand has been growing 2-3 percent per year. We believe if there is ample supply, this will encourage people to consume more. With more affluent sectors in Mindanao plus power supply, we see even double-digit growth during the first few years,” Alsons chairman and president Tomas Alcantara told reporters at the sidelines of the ceremonial switch-on of section 1 of Sarangani Energy Corp.’s (SEC) 210-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Maasim.
The Alsons Power Group expects its generation capacity to increase to 588 megawatts (MW) by 2020, which will account for about 25 percent of the demand in Mindanao, Alcantara said.
He said the 588-MW capacity will come from four hydropower plants, three coal-fired power plants, and existing diesel plants.
“After 2020, we will look back and see how demand is faring if we continue with the present rate of growth,” he said.
He said the company is seeing an upsurge in demand due to the projects “that have been announced that are coming in Mindanao.” The growth areas will come from additional malls, mining companies that will be a major consumer of power, as well as other industries like steel which will be coming to northern Mindanao, Alcantara said.
The Alsons Power Group on Thursday broke ground for the construction of the second 105-MW section of the SEC power plant in Maasim. In the same event, President Rodrigo Duterte led the ceremonial switch-on of the $570-million first section of the SEC plant.
The SEC’s Section 1 started commercial operations in April 2016, delivering much-needed baseload power to the Mindanao grid and helping end the five-year power crisis on the island.
SEC’s Section 1 supplies power to more than three million residents of the provinces of Sarangani, Compostela Valley, Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur; the cities of General Santos, Iligan, Bayugan, Butuan, Samal and Tagum, as well as some key areas in Davao del Norte and South Cotabato.
Section 2 is expected to start operating in 2019 to provide power to an additional three million residents in provinces of South Cotabato, Davao del Sur, Misamis Oriental, North Cotabato, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur, as well as the cities of Cagayan de Oro, Dapitan, Digos, Dipolog, Koronadal, Kidapawan and Pagadian.