MAASIM, Sarangani — Mindanao residents and its thriving industries are now assured of stable power supplies in the coming years, with the government continually pushing for more investments to further boost the island’s energy resources.

President Rodrigo R. Duterte gave such assurance as he led here on Friday afternoon the inauguration and launching of two major power projects — the second 105-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant of the Sarangani Energy Corp. (SEC) and the 14.5-MW hydropower project of its sister firm Siguil Hydro Power Corp.

He described the power projects, both flagship initiatives of the Alsons Power Group, as key milestones “in our quest to provide safe, reliable and affordable power to the island of Mindanao and the rest of the Philippines.”

“I am pleased to note that since June 2016, the power supply in Mindanao has greatly improved. From experiencing power deficiencies, which resulted in power interruptions in the past, it currently has excess power generation,” the President said.

He said the Mindanao grid’s total installed capacity now stands at 4,038 MW, with a dependable capacity of 3,486 MW, way beyond the current peak demand 2,013 MW.

SEC’s second power plant completes the 210-MW baseload power capacity of the USD570 million coal-fired power plant in Barangay Kamanga here. The project’s initial phase was inaugurated by the President in January 2017.

The company said the plant now delivers power to over six million people in 10 provinces and 12 key cities in Mindanao, including Cagayan de Oro, General Santos, Iligan, Butuan, Digos, Dipolog, and Pagadian.

The PHP4.25 billion Siguil hydropower project, Alsons Power’s first venture into renewable energy, is targeted to be operational by 2022.

Siguro naman sa politiko mahirap na magdaya ngayong (Surely it would be difficult for politicians to cheat in) 2022 with the kind of brightness that we are about to experience,” the President said.

He cited that power generation companies have significantly contributed to the country’s continuing development, especially in Mindanao.

The expanded power coverage nationwide has enhanced the implementation of the government’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure projects and the electrification programs, he said.

“It is my hope that more power generation companies will invest in renewable energy projects in the Philippines to support the government’s advocacy [for] environmental protection and conservation of natural resources,” he said.

He urged the private sector to work closely with the Department of Energy, the Department of Science and Technology, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to “effectively harmonize efforts towards ensuring inclusivity, sustainability, and efficiency in power generation.”

“Be assured that this administration is determined in its goal to achieve power security in the country, consistent with its drive to uplift the living conditions of our people,” he added. (PNA)

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