DAVAO CITY (Updated) -- Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras boldly predicted that the problem on power supply in Mindanao could be over by the end of May this year, if everything goes well as planned.
In Friday’s 1st Mindanao Power Summit held in this city and attended by no less than President Benigno Aquino III, Almendras said the government has identified several solutions to the problem and all that is lacking is "the cooperation of everyone."
"If everybody cooperates, there's a good chance that we could solve significant portion of the shortage by end of May. Next year, if we don't bring additional generations and there is no contract to buy the generation, then we will be back to power shortage," he said.
The secretary outlined the government’s proposed short-term and medium-term solutions to the problem. The short-term would be for generation of power from already existing power sources, and getting Iligan power plant up and running.
Almendras said there are several existing power generators in Mindanao that could be tapped to immediately address the problem.
For instance, he said, the Iligan power plant could readily generate 20 megawatts (MW) of power once running and could achieve 100MW power generation in less than one year.
The medium-term solutions proposed by the government, meanwhile, are: getting more barges to augment more sources until such time that the power plants are up and running, and rehabilitation of the Agus and Pulangi hydro power plants.
Almendras said it will take about 30 months to rehabilitate the Agus plant and one month for Pulangi.