Aboitiz to build coal power plant in Davao
By Mai Gevera
Davao City (7 October) -- Instead of putting in more hydropower plants, Aboitiz Power announced its plans for energy source diversification by building a 200 megawatt circulating fluidized-bed coal power plant in the city.
President of Aboitiz Power Erramon Aboitiz laid out the company's plans for a coal plant expected to start operation by the middle of 2014.
Even without bilateral contract with wholesale buyers, Aboitiz Power is decided to take risks in building the said plant.
"The company sees a coal plant as the best source of electricity from the standpoint of reliability, affordability, and safety," said Aboitiz.
Known for building hydropower plants, the company opted to develop an entirely new energy source after realizing that hydropower dependency is highly vulnerable to weather conditions.
The company president clarified that existing hydropower plants will continue operation alongside the construction of the coal plant, its largest investment to date.
He also sees a significant impact on electricity rates given that the cost of coal is substantially lower than fuel oil. Coal as energy source is estimated to cost up to P5 kph, while fuel oil runs at P6 kph, the least.
Aboitiz also assures the people in Davao for a cleaner and more efficient coal fuel generation brought about by new technologies.
Unlike the previous image of coal power, recent technologies now ensure a cleaner, low sulfur emission.
Aboitiz, too, guarantees that operations will all be guided by strict international and Philippines' environmental, safety, and health standards.
Instead of building the coal plant in some other parts of Mindanao, the company decided to have it based in Davao City.
"Davao is the biggest user of power in Mindanao, thus, it is best to build sufficient power plants in the city to ensure power supply security," he said.
Aboitiz also finds building the plant in Davao as most economical since they no longer need to build new transmission lines because the source is already in the city itself.
Social and economic benefits are promised to the city and its people. This guarantees Aboitiz Power to invest more than P15 billion for the plant and a regular employment for up to 200 people. (PIA-XI) [top]