Agus, Pulangui expansions boost Mindanao RE capacity

by Myrna Velasco – September 25, 2016

from Manila Bulletin

Mindanao is desperately exploring project development pathways that could reverse its carbon footprint-laden coal plant installations, hence, it is now looking at the planned Agus and Pulangui expansion projects for colossal addition to its renewable energy (RE)capacity.

Romeo Montenegro, Director for Investment Promotions and Public Affairs of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), has apprised media on the sidelines of Powertrends 2016 that the long-blueprinted Agus 3 expansion could yield capacity addition of 250 to 260 megawatts.

The proposed Pulangui V hydro power plant expansion, on the other, will be for a bigger capacity of 300 megawatts.

Montenegro disclosed that the Agus-3 project has already secured its service contract from the Department of Energy (DOE); while for the planned Pulangui V hydropower facility, it is already the financing arrangement that the project proponents have been working on.

The big-ticket hydropower projects, in addition to the smaller RE ventures, have been the capacity developments eyed by the Mindanao development agency when it comes to re-balancing eventually its grid’s energy mix.

“For big capacities from RE, we’re looking at Agus 3, this is already in financial discussion stage with the proponent that had been awarded by a service contract by the DOE,” Montenegro said.

He added the original proponent from the Pagarungan family already cemented partnerships with various investors to enable them to advance the venture into implementation phase.

“They (project proponents) are at the process of completing their application for PSA (power supply agreement). They already have service contract and once PSA is there, they probably conclude financial closing and then start off the construction,” Montenegro has emphasized.

For Pulangui V project, he noted that this is “subject to the final way forward decision of the DOE – whether to have it bidded out or award the contract to the original proponent, which is Greenergy Development Corporation.”

“Pulangui V is going to have a dam, it is expected to have 300MW capacity. That does not include the possible increment or increase in its capacity once rehabilitation and uprating are completed. Plus possible investments that can be done, for instance, in terms of the Pulangui uprating like dredging so it can increase its capacity,” Montenegro explained.

With these two major expansion projects, Mindanao grid is hoping that it can substantially pare its carbon footprints come year 2020 and onwards – as its power project developments leaned heavily this time on coal plants.

“If you add to the ones that we are currently tracking, the small RE players, we would be able to achieve our figure of at least injecting to the grid substantial capacity from renewable energy,” the MinDA official said.

He emphasized that there are 284 projects with a potential capacity of 3,700MW — thus, “even if we just target around 1,000MW of these RE projects, these are already big in terms of RE capacity addition in our energy mix.”