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Visayas power sector woos investors

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By Minerva Newman

CEBU CITY – The Department of Energy (DOE) presented its energy investment portfolio to potential investors during the 11th Energy Investment Forum in Cebu last week.

Department of Energy (DOE) Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Department of Energy (DOE) Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella
(PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella told the investors the Philippines they could look at five energy sectors: power, oil and gas, coal, natural gas and renewable energy (RE).

Fuentebella said the investors were provided with an “Energy Investment Kit” for their reference.

Fuentebella said that as a result of the reforms implemented under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA), the power sector has become very lucrative.

The Philippines needs 43,765 megawatts more by 2040, with the Visayas looking at 9,180MW more, Fuentebella said.

“The DOE hopes to achieve 100-percent electrification of the country by 2022.  Projects are needed in the setting up of these additional capacities and these need money/funds or investments,” he added.

The Visayas grid has 14 proponents for committed power projects of 784.7MW. The projects include coal-fired plants with 735MW capacity in Toledo City and Barangay Nipa Conception in Iloilo which is targeted to run this year.

For oil-based projects, a 135-MW modular Diesel Ancillary Service Power plant in Isabel, Leyte is expected to operate this August, Fuentebella said.

In Iloilo and Aklan, there are two hydro projects which are expected to begin commercial operation this December with 23.1MW capacity, and a geothermal plant in Biliran with 50.0MW scheduled to operate from July 2021 to June 2026 for its various phases of completion, he went on.

In biomass, there are eight projects with 206.6MW which are in Victoria, Binalbagan, Calasagan, Himamaylan, Manapla in Negros Occidental. Target operation date is December.

The Visayas Grid Indicative Power projects have 38 proponents with 3,797.1MW capacity, 600 MW coming from coal plants in Mactan, Cebu and in San Carlos, Negros Occidental which are still on the development stage.

Renewable energy projects include the wind energy with 1,568MW, solar with 703.4 MW capacity with the rest is from coal and oil-based projects.

According to Fuentebella, developing countries like the Philippines need a cost-efficient and reliable energy mix of conventional and non-conventional sources to meet their economic potentials.

He said there are 1,702 potential off-grid sites in a country composed of 7,641 islands, with 2,399,108 households still unserved.

Opportunities are also open for hybridization of diesel mini-grids and power plants with 400MW of diesel generating capacity installed in over 320 off-grid missionary areas.

Fuentebella also mentioned ideal sites for new power plants in Compostela Valley and Mactan in Cebu; Corella in Bohol and Calbayog in Samar with the combined capacity of 300MW.

Most of the indicative renewable energy projects are in the Visayas, which has the biggest share of renewable energy projects in the country, with Fuentebella citing solar, biomass and geothermal projects, especially in Negros Oriental and Region 8.

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