by Myrna Velasco – January 8, 2016
from Manila Bulletin
Toril, Davao – The newly inaugurated coal-fired power plant of Aboitiz Power Corporation will be up for another 300MW expansion to satiate the longer term demand growth of Mindanao grid, according to company chief executive officer Erramon I. Aboitiz.
The 300MW power facility’s full debut into the grid was graced by President Benigno S. Aquino III on Friday (January 8) with over 1,000 security forces of military and police contingents lining up the streets leading to the power plant site.
“We definitely plan on expanding, you see we have extra land and it is what we plan on doing,” Aboitiz said, albeit he qualified that they would need to “time it properly… we have all the approvals in place.”
Their newly completed 300MW coal plant under corporate vehicle Therma South Inc. (TSI) entailed massive capital investment of P35 billion.
For the proposed expansion, Aboitiz noted that the amount could be “10-percent less” because of some shared facilities and economy of scale they could already utilize out of the existing plant.
Aboitiz has reiterated though that “right now, with the power plants that are being built, I think Mindanao has ample power so there’s no need for it at this point, but we will watch it very closely.”
He further indicated “Mindanao, with all these additional power will grow faster. I think there’s a lot of suppressed demand so I think we are taking a very close look on how it will happen.”
The Aboitiz Power chief executive has reckoned though that “if the growth suddenly picks up very fast, then we have to move faster but luckily now, we already have the land, permits and DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) approval, so hopefully if we make a decision to build another plant, it will be much faster.”
The Davao coal plant is equipped with sub-critical circulating fluidized bed (CFB) boiler and among its carbon footprints reduction initiatives are its coal dome to control impact of its fly ash and carbon sink as an added buffer between the facility and the community.
Aboitiz admitted that they are still encountering ‘teething problems’ as to the operation of the new power plant – including a fire incident that had initially plagued its capacity ramping up at the initial block in the past months.
Nevertheless, he noted they are hopeful that the plant’s operation will stabilize soon, with its generated electricity favorably contributing to their financial top line and bottom line.