Marcos Admin urged to start rehab of Mindanao hydro plants


The Center for Ecology, Energy, and Development (CEED) has called on the Marcos Administration to kickstart the rehabilitation of Mindanao’s hydropower plants to help “reduce the island’s dependence on coal-fired power plants.” 

In a Rappler report, CEED said that the government had allowed the Mindanao island to become dependent on coal power sources, jumping from 232 megawatts (MW) to 2,089 MW in the last decade. 

Coal accounts for 51% of Mindanao’s power generation mix. Based on data from the Department of Energy, peak demand in the Mindanao Grid stood at 1,928 megawatts (MW) while capacity reached 2,780MW. 

CEED executive Gerry Arances said that “flooding Mindanao with coal” only burdened the communities with high power prices and pollution. He added that the rehabilitation of the hydropower plants in the region is “certainly a welcome direction.” 

National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Northern Mindanao director Mylah Faye Carino said that the rehabilitation of the Agus-Pulangi Hydro Power Complex (APHPC) has been delayed since 2019. 

Just last year, the rehabilitation of the Agus Pulangi hydroelectric power plant system got $700,000 in financing from the World Bank. 

The Department of Finance (DOF) said that the rehabilitation is being finalized by the government together with the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) and National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR).

Carino added that the government is pushing for more RE projects in Mindanao. 

Earlier, the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDa) rejected the possible privatization of the APHC. The hydroelectric complex is currently owned by PSALM and operated by NAPOCOR.