MANILA, Philippines – Alsons Renewable Energy Corporation (AREC), a subsidiary of Alsons Consolidated Resources, Incorporated (ACR), earmarked $650 million to pursue investments in hydro and solar projects, with a total generating capacity of 205 megawatts (MW).
“Alsons has a clear strategy for developing RE (renewable energy), starting with hydro,” Alsons vice president for business development Joseph Nocos said.
He said investments in hydro power projects will amount to $600 million.
“We have 80 to 90MW of hydro service contracts under application with the DOE (Department of Energy) which we expect the DOE to decide on within the year. If all of those are approved then we will end up with a total hydro portfolio of 180MW which we hope to implement in the next 5 years,” Nocos said in a press briefing.
AREC is set to construct a 15MW run-of-river hydroelectric plant along the Siguil River in Maasim, Sarangani this year. Nocos said this will be followed by a 40MW hydro power project in Negros Occidental, and two more hydro projects in Mindanao that “will be rolled out in the next couple of years.”
For solar, AREC is looking at developing 20 to 30MW of capacity for $40 million to $45 million.
“The solar projects will be located in General Santos,” Nocos added.
Shift to renewable energy
ACR, which is expected to contribute 600MW of capacity to Mindanao, is shifting its focus to RE.
“Our approach is to match the design of what the grid needs. Early 2000s, we were determined that Mindanao will need baseload towards latter part of 2000,” Nocos said.
In the next 10 to 15 years, the AREC official said Mindanao wil have enough baseload capacity that other generating companies are also building.
“In the intervening period, between now and 15 years, the opportunity for generating companies is RE space. If we look at RE space, our main interest is hydro and solar,” said Nocos.
These RE projects, he added, will “result in improvements” in ACR’s bottomline, as the company is positioned to grow “more prominently” in the power industry in the coming years.
“The ratio between non-RE and RE would be 75:25 in favor of non-RE. If you look at it 10 years on the horizon, the ratio would probably turn out 50:50,” Nocos said.
ACR currently operates 3 diesel power plants.
These are the 103MW plant of the Mapalad Power Corporation (MPC) in Iligan City; the 55MW plant of the Southern Philippines Power Corporation (SPPC) in Alabel, Sarangani; and the 100MW plant of the Western Mindanao Power Corporation (WMPC) in Zamboanga City.
All have contributed to alleviating the power shortage in Mindanao.
ACR is developing coal-fired power facilities to help provide a stable source of baseload power for Mindanao and ensure long-term power security for the island.
These facilities include the 105MW San Ramon Power, Incorporated (SRPI) plant in Zamboanga City, and the 210MW Sarangani Energy Corporation (SEC) plant in Maasim, Sarangani.
The first 105MW-section of the SEC plant is now in the advanced stages of testing and commissioning, and will begin commercial operations in the first quarter of 2016 with an initial capacity of 105MW.
The SEC plant is expected to be operating at its full 210MW capacity in 2018.
The SRPI power facility in Zamboanga City is expected to begin construction in 2016 and is slated to operate by 2019.
ACR is under the Alcantara Group, which is also engaged in aquaculture, agribusiness, property development, and services through its other subsidiaries. – Rappler.com