DoE gives go signal for Semirara’s power plant

Semirara Mining and Power Corp. (SMPC) can go ahead and build a coal-fired power plant on Semirara island, initially with a capacity of 50-megawatts (MW), that can become Mindoro’s main source of baseload power, the Energy secretary said.

“All the papers are going,” Alfonso G. Cusi, secretary of the Department of Energy (DoE), told reporters on the sidelines of a solar project’s launch. “They can build it already.”

The project is a way for the department to look for a lasting solution to the intermittent power supply in island provinces such as Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and adjacent islands, he said.

Mr. Cusi said the project would call for sourcing power from SMPC’s plant on Semirara island for Mindoro, which is a change of plan from previously considering connecting Mindoro to the national grid via submarine cable all the way to Batangas. The previous plan was expensive and would take long to complete, the DoE chief noted.

“The solution after evaluating [the project] is to put a power plant in Semirara to supply Mindoro. So we will have a baseload power [supply] for Mindoro that is not dependent on fossil fuel,” Mr. Cusi previously said, referring to the current power source — crude oil.

He said SMPC can proceed with the project because it is a private sector undertaking. He expects the project to provide more reliable power 24 hours a day and seven days a week and at a lower price.

Source and courtesy of Victor V. Saulon, Business World
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