PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. expressed confidence on Monday, February 6, 2023, that the launching of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) in Mindanao will boost investment and economic opportunities and activity in the region.

During the ceremonial launching of the WESM in the Mindanao Grid in Malacañang, Marcos said he is expecting that it will attract more investment, particularly from the manufacturing businesses and other energy-intensive industries, which will eventually result in more jobs for the people.

WESM is a centralized venue for trading electricity for large-scale buyers and sellers, which aims to establish a competitive, efficient, transparent and reliable market for electricity.

“Indeed, the presence of WESM in Mindanao and an interconnected and interdependent grid in the country will not only ensure a level playing field in the competitive energy market but will also provide assurance to investors,” said Marcos.

“In the long run, WESM will help in sustaining power generation investments to meet the ever-growing electricity demand,” he added.

The Presidential Communications Office said Mindanao has an electrification rate of 87 percent and WESM in Mindanao will have a crucial role in the successful operation of the Mindanao-Visayas Interconnection Project (MVIP) as WESM allows efficient transmission and settlement of electricity exchanges.

At present, Mindanao has 4,321 megawatts of registered capacity, while its peak demand is only at around 2,167 megawatts.

With the establishment of WESM in Mindanao, around 2,000 megawatts of uncontracted capacities can now be sold in the WESM and be dispatched at any given time, providing supply to distribution utilities, electric cooperatives and other end-users when their contracted power plants are not available.

“The launching will also affect power pricing, as WESM encourages generators to compete and sell their electricity at a lower price to secure a schedule for dispatch,” the PCO said.

With the integration of the three main grids in the WESM, Marcos said the country can hopefully achieve its goal of having a joint WESM for the entire nation and of attaining total capacity for the Philippines’ power demands.

The President said the launching of the WESM is also a very important step in rationalizing the nation’s power capacity and distribution.

He expressed hope that the drop in fuel prices in the world market will lead to lower power costs not only for industrial users but also for household consumers.

The government established WESM in Luzon in 2006, making the Philippines the first developing nation in Asia to introduce WESM successfully.

In 2010, WESM in the Visayas was also established.

The government is looking forward to completing the MVIP by the end of March, which is seen to benefit the people of Mindanao and the Visayas through the transmission of electric power between these islands. (SunStar Philippines)