THE Filinvest-led coal-fired power plant is now in full operation with a 405-megawatt (MW) combined capacity - the largest power supply project in Mindanao.
President Rodrigo Duterte graced the ceremonial inauguration Thursday, September 22.
The multi-billion project is expected to cover the biggest share of Mindanao’s power demand.
Juan Eugenio Roxas, senior vice president of Filinvest Development Corporation (FDC) and head of FDC Misamis Power Corporation said the three units are already synchronized to the Mindanao grid.
Roxas said since the start of the synchronization, the power plant’s commissioning power has greatly contributed to the stability of the Mindanao grid.
“Ang first unit nag operate is July 11, the second unit is August 15 and third unit is September 19,” Roxas said.
The power firm has already committed at least 85 percent of its project’s net capacity to various distribution utilities and large industrial consumers covering 205 municipalities and barangays in Mindanao.
FDC president and chief executive officer Josephine Gotianun Yap said in a statement the company wanted to help the present administration by providing power at the most affordable cost and in the most reliable way with technology that protects the environment.
Mindanao’s power demand has been noted to increase in the next years with booming industries in the island.
Energy officials said if no power plants were to rise, the power crisis will worsen.
Roxas said the company imports the coal supply from Indonesia while 20 percent is sourced locally.
Roxas added more than 5,000 people were employed during the power plant’s construction and the company has at least 200 regular employees.
Recognizing the environment concerns of coal-fed power plants, Roxas said they use the latest in clean coal technology called the "circulating fluidized bed boiler."
The technology is considered as the cleanest process to burning coal as it removes more than 95 percent of sulfur emissions.
It creates negligible nitrogen oxide levels while generating useful by-products such as calcium sulfate for cement production.
Misamis Oriental Governor Yevgeny Emano said the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the Provincial Government has a task force that monitors the emissions from the coal plants in the province to ensure that no violations have been made.
“Pasalamat ta aning power plant kay makatabang kini nga makasupply kuryente sa Mindanao and lantawon pud nato ang emissions like sa atong gihimo sa STEAG sauna,” Emano said.
With the new coal plant operating now, FDC is in hope that Mindanao will no longer experience the recurring power crisis that plagued the island for decades.
"Makakatulong talaga to nga ma-stop na atong suffering sa kakulang sa kuryente ug hopefully wala nay rotating brownouts," Roxas said.
The power plant is the second coal-fired power plant in the 3,000-hectare property inside the Philippine Veterans Investment Development Corporation (Phividec) estate in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental.
The German-led STEAG state power coal-fired plant was the first to construct its 210-MW power plant in Phividec area.
STEAG spokesperson Jerome Soldevilla who was also present at the inauguration, said that the new power plant’s operation is not seen as a competition but as a welcoming solution to Mindanao’s power crisis.