by Alena Mae S. Flores – July 23, 2017 at 06:01 pm
Aboitiz Power Corp. asked the government to rehabilitate the old Agus hydroelectric power plants in Mindanao amid the huge surplus in the region to ensure the plants’ long-term efficiency and reliability.
“With all the supply coming into Mindanao today, it may be time for the government to finally decide on the fate of the Agus complex. Perhaps it is time for these old power plants to be rehabilitated,” Aboitiz Power president and chief operating officer Antonio Moraza said in a statement.
The Agus hydroelectric power plants have an installed capacity of 727 megawatts, but currently have a dependable capacity of only 400 MW, according to the Mindanao Development Authority.
Some of the Agus units were constructed as early as the 1950s and many sectors were calling for an extensive rehabilitation of the facilities so that they could operate at an optimum efficiency.
Moraza said with more power plants getting built, the perennial problem of the Mindanao power shortage was resolved.
He said the region should now take advantage of its energy surplus to spur the economy.
Meanwhile, Moraza said Aboitiz Power’s successful rehabilitation of the Ambuklao hydroelectric power plant in Ifugao enabled it to increase its capacity.
The Ambuklao plant was built in 1956 but was abandoned by the government after the 1990 earthquake that struck Baguio.
“We took over Ambuklao in 2008. We invested resources, brought in experts and worked with government to make the plant run again. In 2011, we not only brought back the plant, but also increased its installed capacity from 70 MW to 105 MW. With the same amount of water, energy produced has increased by 50 percent,” Moraza said.
Moraza said studies would have to be made in order to determine how the proposed Agus rehabilitation should be done and by whom.
“Now that power supply is no longer an issue, it can be said that Mindanao is truly open for business,” Moraza said.