THE country's largest mall operator, SM Prime Holdings, is ensuring that all its SM Malls are prepared for the onslaught of power outages in the country as the power crisis worsens, especially in the Visayas and Mindanao where the supply gap continues to expand.

SM Supermalls vice president for operations Glenn D. Ang told Sun.Star Davao in an interview Friday that all their malls are fully equipped with generator sets that will allow the mall to continue operations despite power outages.

For updates from around the country, follow Sun.Star on Twitter

"Actually pag brownout mas dumarami ang tao sa amin, kasi may kuryente pa rin kami," he said.

With its own generator set, SM City Davao is able to continue its light and air conditioning systems.

Admittedly, running generator sets means a more expensive overhead cost for the shopping center.

"Diesel, on which our generator sets run, is much more expensive than the power provided," Ang said.

Mindanao's power supply has reached critically low levels as the El Niño phenomenon continues to wreak havoc on the island’s power supply, which is primarily reliant on hydro.

Despite the power crisis that has gripped the country, SM Prime Holdings continues to usher in growth and expansion by opening five malls a year.

For 2011, a new SM mall will open in Davao City in the Lanang area. Construction of the new mall will start within the year.