SPPC eyes supplying power to ECs after PSA with NPC ends in April

by Lenie Lectura – February 23, 2016

from Business Mirror

SOUTHERN Philippines Power Corp. (SPPC), a subsidiary of Alsons Consolidated Resources Inc. (Acri), is eyeing to supply power to electric cooperatives (ECs) after its power supply agreement (PSA) with the National Power Corp. (Napocor) ends in April this year.

Edgar Sevilles, Acri vice president and business manager for diesel operations, said SPPC’s 55-megawatt (MW) diesel-fired power plant in Alabel, Sarangani, which began operating in 1998, would become a merchant plant two months from now.

A merchant plant is a facility that directly supplies power to ECs and other distribution utilities (DUs).

“On April 28, 2016, the ECA [Energy Conversion Agreement] of SPPC with the government will be terminated. Right after its termination, we will revert to a merchant-plant operation with multiple customers such as Davao Light,” Sevilles said. He said SPPC’s current capacity utilization is 75 percent to 80 percent dispatched by Napocor.

With an ECA, the power plant basically services only one customer, the Napocor.

Davao Light and Power Co. is among the DU identified by Sevilles that SPPC is eyeing to ink a power-supply agreement with.

Acri has two more diesel plants already operating as merchant plants. The Western Mindanao Power Corp. (WMPC) is a 100-MW diesel power plant in Sangali, Zamboanga City, that supplied power to the Mindanao grid from 1997 to December 2015 under an 18-year ECA with the Napocor.

Sevilles said WMPC began operating as a merchant plant on December 13, 2015.

“This means we have multiple customers now, unlike before when we only had one—[Napocor],” Sevilles said. “We now have Zamcelco [Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative], Davao Light and Cepalco [Cagayan Electric Power and Light Co. Inc.]. All of these DUs are generating power from our plant and are dispatched at around 54-percent capacity factor, but this month it will be higher because of the problem in supply. We are estimating that it will go up to 70 percent,” Sevilles said.

Acri’s third diesel-power plant is under Mapalad Power Corp. (MPC), a 103-MW power facility providing power to Iligan City and other key cities of Mindanao including General Santos, Zamboanga, Pagadian, Butuan and Bayugan.

“MPC is also a merchant plant after we bought it from the Iligan City government. These three diesel- power plants are now being used as mid-peaking plant and peaking plant. The other function of these plants are ancillary services for reactive-power support,” Sevilles said.