Coal-fired power plants will fuel growth in the Philippine power infrastructure sector over the next 10 years, a recent study showed.
Fitch-owned BMI Research forecast annual average growth of 10.6 between 2017 and 2021.
The global research firm said over 7,300 megawatts (MW) worth of power plant capacity were currently being built or approved for construction, with almost 80 percent of upcoming capacity and nearly 90 percent of the aggregate value coming from coal projects.
BMI Research pointed out continued proliferation in the less-developed Visayas and Mindanao regions.
It said the significance of coal-fired generation, in terms of the Department of Energy power and supply forecasts, could translate to sustained growth in fuel imports and heightened roles for Chinese and Japanese firms.
It noted that the share of electricity generated from thermal – especially coal – sources would grow from 73 percent this year to 77 percent in 2026.
While domestic coal production will expand at an annual average of 4 percent between 2016 and 2020, coal-fired production is anticipated to increase by a higher 5.7 percent.
BMI Research said the focus on coal undertakings would strengthen the role of Chinese and Japanese investors, contractors, and equipment suppliers, noting sustained demand for financing, equipment, and operating expertise.
Coal importation climbed by 20.030 million metric tons (MMT) in 2016 from 17.279 MMT in the preceding year based on Energy department data. Coal production rose by 12.087 MMT in 2016 from 8.173 MMT a year ago.
Coal accounted to the largest share of the country’s power mix at 44 percent in 2015.