PSALM explores ways to improve generation capacity in Mindanao PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 16 November 2012 14:32

The state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) Corp. is exploring ways to improve generation capacity in Mindanao to ease the lingering power interruptions in the region.

Emmanuel Ledesma Jr., PSALM president and chief executive officer, said they are looking to conduct “maintenance” works to enhance the capabilities of their remaining power plants in Mindanao.

“The solution to the power problem in Mindanao remains to be the addition of new power plants or generation capacities. PSALM, however, is prohibited by law to build new power plants,” he said.

Nevertheless, PSALM is authorized by law to maintain power plants transferred from the National Power Corp. (Napocor) prior to their privatization, he said.

“As part of that maintenance, PSALM can improve the generation capabilities of its remaining power plants in Mindanao,” Ledesma said.

To this end, PSALM will fund the Agus 6 hydroelectric power plant uprating project and the selective dredging of Pulangui river.

“The Agus project has already been approved by the National Economic and Development Authority-Investment Coordination Committee (NEDA-ICC) and is in the process of bidding. The selective dredging is still under study,” Ledesma said.

These projects will add at least 15 megawatts to the generation capacities of PSALM power plants in Mindanao.

Agus River is a host to Napocor’s hydroelectric power system that generates more than 50 percent of Mindanao’s electricity requirement.

Aside from uprating and selective dredging projects, the PSALM is also exploring additional capacities from diesel-fed power barges 101, 102 and 103.

He said the conditions for the privatization of Power Barges 101, 102 and 103, which are located in the Visayas, include the relocation of these plants to Mindanao by the winning bidder.

“This should also add generation capacity to Mindanao,” he said.

For 2014, PSALM also plans to bid out management contracts for five power facilities in Mindanao.

Two of these facilities are the 100-MW diesel plant of Western Mindanao Power Corp. (WMPC) and the 55-MW power facility of Southern Philippines Power Corp. (SPPC).

The other facilities to be bid out for the independent power producer administration (IPPA) contracts are the 200-MW Mindanao coal-fired power plant, the 44.52-MW Mt. Apo 1 geothermal plant and the 48-MW Mt. Apo 2 geothermal plant.

“The five administration contracts are actually at the tail end of PSALM’s privatization timeline,” Ledesma said.

Also part of the 2013 PSALM privatization program is the Unified Leyte Independent Power Producer (IPP) contract in the Visayas and the Casecnan Independent Power Producer (IPP) contract in Luzon.

“It should be noted that what is being privatized in the Unified Leyte IPP contract is just the contract, not the geothermal plants. The geothermal plants belong to Energy Development Corp. and are not subject to privatization by PSALM,” Ledesma said.