THE Department of Energy (DoE) is planning to sign a memorandum of agreement with Semirara Mining and Power Corporation (SMPC) to develop a 50-megawatt (MW) mine-mouth coal power plant in Semirara that will supply power to Mindoro through a submarine cable, according to a high-ranking energy official.
The planned project will change the economic landscape of Mindoro, DoE Secretary Alfonso Cusi in an interview.
A mine-mouth electric plant is a coal-burning electricity generating plant that is built close to a coal mine.
In these plants, coal is excavated from the dig site, placed on a conveyor belt, and run directly into the plant where the coal will be burned.
Mine-mouth coal plants have become more common in recent years as there have been improvements in long-distance electricity transmission, making it more viable to have a power plant near a mine but perhaps further away from the point where the electricity needs to get to.
In addition to reducing transportation costs, power plants and mining operations can enter these agreements to ensure the security of coal supply for the plant along with reduced transaction costs
Cusi said the proposed project will commence when the MoA has already been signed, adding it could take three years to finish the project.
“There’s no accurate data yet but we want to connect Mindoro, Marinduque, and Romblon. For the country to develop and if we want inclusivity, we can’t just focus on mainland Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. We have to develop other island provinces that are relying on gasoline,” he said.
The Energy chief explained that those areas can’t develop industries because electricity is expensive and intermittent.
“We have to find a solution for them to have consistent and affordable power supply,” he said.