POWER UTILITY | Cesar Tordesillas, Philippines

Aboitiz takes over Mindanao power barges

AboitizPower assumed ownership of PB 117, a 100-MW power barge at Nasipit, Agusan del Norte, Mindanao.

The bunker-fired generating facility is one of two power barges acquired by AboitizPower through wholly owned subsidiary Therma Marine, Inc., after it won a negotiated bid conducted by the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation on 31 July 2009. The total purchase price for both facilities is US$30 million. PB 118, with a generating capacity of 100 MW, was turned over to AboitizPower last month.

TMI has an Ancillary Services Procurement Agreement with the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines to support the running of the plant. However, the agreement is subject to approval by the Energy Regulatory Commission.

In light of the power shortages occurring throughout Mindanao, AboitizPower president and CEO Erramon Aboitiz said, "Running PB 117 is only part of the solution for the Mindanao shortfall. Additional investment in generating facilities has to be attracted to the island and we think having the WESM operating in the Mindanao Grid is a prerequisite to any new capacity coming in, but there is more work to do before we have enough power for the grid."

Notwithstanding the full operation of PB 117 and PB 118 Mindanao will still continue to suffer rotating brownouts due to low water levels at Lake Lanao, the main source of power for the Mindanao grid.

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