Alsons Power to invest in renewable energy

THE Alsons Power Group is set to venture into renewable in the coming years with initial investments being in renewable energy.

"Renewable Energy is an important part of the mix in the portfolio of most major power generators. RE can complement fossil fuel particularly coal which at this stage is still the most viable source of baseload power in Mindanao and the rest of the country. As Mindanao’s first and most experienced independent power producer we saw a good opportunity in developing run-of -river hydro plants in various locations in Mindanao and in Negros," Oscar Benedict Conteras III, head of corporate communications for the Alson Power Group, said in an email interview with SunStar Davao.

The company will be investing P4.25 billion for the 15.1 megawatt (MW) run-of-river hydroelectric power project (HEPP) at the Siguil River basin in Maasim, Sarangani Province. This is its initial entry into renewable energy. Commercial operations of the hydroelectric plant will be in 2021 and will deliver power to to Sarangani Province, General Santos City and key municipalities of South Cotabato.

The Alsons Consolidated Resources, Inc. (ACR), a publicly-listed company of the Alcantara Group with subsidiaries engaged in power generation among others, recently "listed an initial P100 million of the company’s P2.5 billion Commercial Papers with the Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corporation (Pdex) to provide interim funding that will help the company’s foray into the renewable energy."

The Siguil HEPP is part of the eight hydro power projects that the company has in the pipeline. Other projects include Adanan HEPP, Hubo HEPP, and Tago HEPP in Caraga; KHPC HEPP in Soccsksargen; Sindangan HEPP in Zamboanga Peninsula; Sumlog HEPP in Davao Region, and the Bago HEPP in Western Visayas.

"The priorities for development are: The Siguil River project in Maasim, Sarangani, the Bago hydro project in Negro Occidental, and the Sindangan River project in Zamboanga del Norte. The rest are in “wait and see” mode for the next three years," Conteras said.

He said the company is developing these hydro projects to allow them to offer hydro power to the generation mix of their customers.

"Having a hydro power provider in their mix of power suppliers allows our power distributor customers to hedge against the expected price fluctuations in the fuel supply of their fossil fuel baseload power suppliers, mostly coal or diesel plants," Conteras said.

Meanwhile, the company is also exploring other forms of renewable energy technology like solar power plants.

"But there are no concrete plans as of yet. Our main focus in the immediate future will really be in hydro with eight projects in the pipeline," Conteras said.

At present, the company is completing the 210-megawatt (MW) Sarangani Energy Corp. baseload coal-fired power plant in Maasim, Sarangani. One of the two 105 MW units of the power plant began operations in 2016 while the other half will begin commercial operations within the first quarter of 2019.


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