ILOILO CITY -- Panay Energy Development Corp. (PEDC), a subsidiary of Global Business Power (GBP) Corp., inaugurated its 150-megawatt coal-fired power plant expansion project Wednesday, November 23, at Ingore village in La Paz District, Iloilo City.
The inauguration highlighted the ceremonial switch-on of the power plant led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, PEDC Chairman Jose Ma. Lim, in the presence of GBP President Rolando Bacani, among others: Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, and Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor.
The P15.6-billion expansion project is the GBP group’s latest investment in Iloilo. It had invested a total of P20 billion for PEDC’s first two 82-MW coal-fired power plants in 2011.
Central Negros Electric Cooperative (Ceneco) Board President Arnel Lapore, Director Vicente Tan, and General Manager Sulpicio Lagarde Jr. also attended the inauguration rites.
Cusi said the expansion project is a welcome development since the Visayas power status is always in the yellow or red level that signals the reach of the maximum load especially during peak period.
The new power plant will not help only Iloilo or Western Visayas, but also the Luzon area because “we also share power,” he added.
“We need to develop cheap energy and a coal-fired power plant is answering that need,” Cusi said.
For his part, Lim said, “The new project underscores our commitment to support the economic growth of the region by providing adequate power supply. We are fueling the growth of industries and the availability of jobs in Panay, thereby providing a viable alternative to the already congested Metro Manila.”
Moreover, Bacani said: “We are proud to be able to respond to the region’s growing energy requirements and contribute significantly to its base load capacity.”
PEDC maintains its interest in supplying power and possibly setting up a power plant in Negros, said Jaime Azurin, GBP executive vice president.
“We are very interested to come to Negros. In fact, we are still looking for a site there, but we are still having a hard climb in so far as getting the community acceptance. In Iloilo, we have a high acceptance in the community. It is expensive to put up a power plant and it takes five years to do that,” he said.
He added once Ceneco and other electric cooperatives will have power supply requirements and they will open it for bidding, PEDC will participate.
Azurin suggested “power cooperatives in Negros should contract together because the bigger the volume of power is, the cheaper it would become.”