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Power surplus to be used up in five years

The power surplus of Mindanao is expected to be exhausted in the next three to five years owing to the massive construction activities in key cities of the island, representatives of both the business sector and government said.

In the case of the city, Arturo M. Milan, reelected president of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said property development projects are expected to “change the skyline” of the city within the next five years because of the construction of new high rise buildings.

Aside from the buildings, the government has also embarked on the “Build, Build, Build” program that is expected to provide more infrastructure facilities to Mindanao and Milan believed this will enhance the image of the island as an investment haven.

Romeo M. Montenegro, Mindanao Development Authority deputy executive director, pointed out that based on the record of his agency, about 40 high rise buildings are being built and are expected to be completed within the next five years.

“So our objective is to look into the bigger picture and match this (requirement) with the available supply by the time all these projects are built,” said Montenegro.

Because of this, the 1,000-megawatt reserve of Mindanao is expected to be completely used up once these buildings start to operate as a building would need about five megawatts of power, depending on its total areas and number of floors.

Aside from these structures, there are other real property developments like townships and similar projects that are considered heavy users of power.

The operations of new power plants in Mindanao have resulted in power surplus, a very different scenario compared with the early 2000s when some areas of the island had to experience a maximum of 12 hours in power outages because of the lack of supply and the island has yet to be connected to the grid of the country.

The entry of big generating companies since 2010 has resulted in a power surplus regime, while the grid operator, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines, launched last year the project that will connect the grid of Mindanao to the rest of the country.

MinDA, through the Mindanao Power Monitoring Council that it chairs, has also been pushing for the setting up of renewable energy sources in Mindanao to balance the mix which has been heavily tilted in favor of fossil fuels. Based on its list, about 290 projects can be explored and that these can generate about 3,000 megawatts.

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