IN ITS bid to help Mindanao address power issues, the Alsons Power’s Sarangani Energy Corporation (SEC) in Maasim, Sarangani is scheduled to commercially operate the unit one, with an installed capacity of 105 megawatts (MW), of the 210MW coal-fired power plant by February of next year.

Alsons Power Group vice president for business development Joseph C. Nocos told reporters that as the plant’s unit one is nearing its target commercial operations schedule, it is already contracted to electric cooperatives and distribution utilities in the island by 90 percent.

“The first 105MW unit of the SEC is already 90 percent contracted,” he said, adding that big bulk of about 70MW of the unit’s capacity is contracted to South Cotabato Electric Cooperative (Socoteco) II.

Other electric cooperatives which have sealed a contract agreement with SEC were Agusan del Norte Electric Cooperative (Aneco) for 10MW; Agusan del Sur Electric Cooperative (Aselco) for 10 MW; and Davao del Norte Electric Cooperative (Daneco) for 15MW.

Nocos added that for the second unit of the two-phased P12-billion power plant will be operational by the third quarter of 2018.

SEC’s unit one is part of the three coal-fired power plants, with a combined capacity 555MW that are expected to come online in the island’s power grid by first half of next year.

Other coal-based power plants to commence operations by next year are the two units of San Miguel Consolidated Power Corporation (SMCP) with a combined capacity of 300MW and the Aboitiz Power's 150MW Therma South Inc. (TSI) unit two.

"The entry of these coal-fired power plants will normalize the power stability of the island," said Noriel Christopher Reyes, Science Research Specialist II of the Department of Energy (DOE) Electric Power Industry Management Bureau earlier said.

Based on the MPMC data, all the committed power projects in Mindanao reached a total of 1,920MW as of October 31.

These power projects are expected to start operations between this year until 2018.

Of the 1,920MW, 1,760MW of which is coal, 11.90MW is Oil-Based while only 148.40MW is from the renewable energy plants.

Mindanao Development Authority projected that the island is requiring at least 500MW of new capacity by 2016, another 500MW by 2020, and 1,600MW by 2030 (4.7-5.3% average growth rate).

“Power deficit persists, but supply expected to improve next year as new capacities come online,” Minda’s presentation showed.