MALIWANAG NA KINABUKASAN: Visayas gains energy investors, pushes energy security forward


The Visayas power sector is gaining momentum with new investment opportunities that will bulk up the region’s energy portfolio.

During the 11th Energy Investment Forum in Cebu last week, the Department of Energy (DOE) presented investors with its energy investment portfolio to help them review the five energy sectors available for their consideration. The sectors included power, oil and gas, coal, natural gas and renewable energy (RE).

“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,” Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella was quoted as saying in a Manila Bulletin report.

The Philippines needs around 43, 765 megawatts of supply by 2040, with the Visayas grid requiring an additional 9,180MW of power capacity.

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

A 135-MW modular Diesel Ancillary Service Power plant in Isabel, Leyte is also projected to operate this August.

Two hydro projects in Iloilo and Aklan worth 23.1 MW are expected to begin commercial operation this December, while a 50 MW geothermal plant in Biliran is scheduled to operate from July 2021 to June 2026.

Biomass projects include eight projects worth 206.6MW in Victoria, Binalbagan, Calasagan, Himamaylan, Manapla in Negros Occidental, which are projected to operate in December.

Meanwhile, 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 under the development stage.

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

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

He added that other areas in Visayas are ideal sites for new power plants, such as Compostela Valley and Mactan in Cebu; Corella in Bohol; and Calbayog in Samar which hold a combined capacity of 300 MW.

There are an estimated 1,702 potential off-grid sites with 2,399,108 households still unserved, Fuentebella said.