by Lenie Lectura, 16 August 2015
SARANGANI Energy Corp. (SEC) of Alsons Power is expected to achieve financial closing for a coal-fired power project by the first quarter of next year.
SEC is involved in a 210-megawatt (MW) power project in Barangay Maasim, Sarangani province, which costs $570 million.
The project is divided into two units, each with a 105-MW capacity. The first unit is set for commissioning in October this year, with commercial operation targeted in February 2016.
Unit 2 is tentatively scheduled for commercial operation in 2018.
“We have not yet financially closed Unit 2. Hopefully, it will happen by the end of the first quarter next year,” said Nicandro Fucoy, vice president for coal operations of Alsons Power.
Once the project’s financing scheme has been finalized, SEC can immediately proceed to construct the project.
“Once financial closing is done, we can issue a notice to proceed for our contractors,” Fucoy said.
While waiting for the financial close for Unit 2, Fucoy said SEC would have to commence with the bidding preparation of the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract.
The EPC contractor of Unit 1 is Daelim of South Korea.
“It could be the same contractor if they will bid for it. We want to keep our options open,” Fucoy added.
SEC has already sold 70 percent of the first unit’s capacity to South Cotabato Electric Cooperative 2 (Socoteco) and the remaining 30 percent to other distribution utilities and industrial users. The output of the second unit, meanwhile, will be sold to other distribution utilities in Mindanao and future big power users.
Also, the plant’s first section will provide power to more than 3 million residents from the provinces of Sarangani, Compostela Valley, Agusan del Norte, and Agusan del Sur; the cities of General Santos, Iligan, Bayugan, Butuan, Samal and Tagum, as well as key municipalities in Davao del Norte and South Cotabato.
When it reaches its full 210-MW capacity in 2018, the SEC plant’s coverage area will include the entire province of South Cotabato and the provinces of Davao del Sur, Zamboanga del Norte and Zamboanga del Sur and key areas in Misamis Oriental and North Cotabato. Major population centers serviced by the plant when it reaches full capacity will also include the cities of Cagayan de Oro, Dapitan, Digos, Dipolog, Koronadal, Kidapawan and Pagadian.
As such, upon reaching full capacity, the SEC power facility will be able to provide access to clean, reliable and affordable electricity to more than 6 million people.
“One of the options is maybe to expand the facility but the ideal is to invite other locators in the area,” Fucoy said when asked if the company has plans to expand the power plant in the future.