PGMA switches on 82-MW power plant in Toledo City
Cites add'l power plant will resolve power crisis in Visayas
Cebu City (March 5) -- Cebu's power woes are now resolved as President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo this morning led the ceremonial switch-on of an 82-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Toledo City, Cebu.
"From being an importer of power, Cebu will be producing more power than it needs," Pres. Arroyo said as the Cebu Energy Development Corporation (CEDC) operates the first of three coal-fired power plants.
The President said the Visayas grid has a generation deficiency of 45 megawatts which has resulted to a spate of brownouts inmost parts of the Visayas region including Cebu.
"But with the inauguration today of the first 82-MW generating units of this 246 MW plant, the whole of the Visayas can now meet its present needs and a little more for its reserves," Mrs. Arroyo pointed out during her speech to over 300 people composed of local government officials, power stakeholders, representatives of the business sector, media and other guests.
The initial power augmentation signals the end of rotating brownouts in the Visayas and also marks the end of importing power from Luzon which is also burdened by huge power requirements, according to Mrs. Arroyo.
Pres. Arroyo also mentioned other significant power start-up dates calendared by the MetroBank related power companies namely the synchronization of the second and third 82-MW units of the Toledo power plant in May and December, this year; and the synchronization of the generating units of Panay Energy Development Corporation; an additional 82MW in October and another 82MW in December of this year while the power plant of KEPCO which is under construction will provide additional electricity supply by October of this year.
With this power augmentation places Cebu now as an exporter of power rather than an importer and "it can even become an exporter of power to Luzon and to Mindanao," Pres. Arroyo bared.
The CEDC or Cebu Energy undertook the construction of 246-MW or an equivalent of three units of 82-MW clean coal-fired power plants each with a total investment of P3B. The plant utilizes state-of-the-art Circulating Fluidized Beds (CFB) Boiler Technology which will ensure that emission levels are well within the standards set by the Clean Air Act.
"We congratulate this Toledo plant and the Panay power plant for using clean technology so that even if they are coal-fired, our air would have less carbon emissions than the old style coal-fired plants," Pres. Arroyo emphasized.
In her message, Pres. Arroyo also thanked the MetroBank group for complying with her request to augment their clean coal investment with a reforestation project in Central Cebu to make the Toledo plant even more carbon neutral.
The President in Toledo City also witnessed the signing of two memorandum of agreements on tree planting project between the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the local government of Toledo City as well as the CEDC and the DENR and the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas.
Upon arrival at the CEDC Compound about half past nine in the morning, the President conducted a tree planting project assisted by DENR Sec. Horacio Ramos.
The President also placed emphasis on power as one of her administration's priority agenda since in her early years of office; one of the very first bills that were passed into law was the Electric Power Industry Reform Act. The law privatized the electric power sector and prohibited the government from being the one to put up new power plants.
It had to be the private sector to produce the energy infrastructure to match the demands of our growing economy. "So we have to campaign hard for the private sector to invest in power generation and we are happy to have positives responses from development-oriented companies like MetroBank and its partners," Mrs. Arroyo ended.
The CEDC is a consortium of living energy companies namely Global Business Power Corp., Aboitiz Power Corp., Vivant Power Energy Corp. and Formosa Heavy Industries Corporation.
Cabinet members seen with the President were DENR Sec. Ramos, Trade Sec. Peter Favila, Tourism Sec. Joseph 'Ace' Durano, Energy Sec. Angelo Reyes and Press Sec. Crispulo 'Jun' Icban.(PIA-7/FCR) [top]