Min­danao records high­est power de­mand at 1,760 MW

Sun.Star Davao - - BUSINESS - By Jen­nie P. Arado

THE elec­tric­ity peak de­mand of Min­danao has reached its high­est yet in five years at 1,760 meg­watts (MW) last Tues­day, De­cem­ber 5.

As com­pared to the high­est peak de­mand of Min­danao back 2012, which was only at around 1,210 MW, Min­danao De­vel­op­ment Author­ity (Minda) Deputy Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor as­sis­tant sec­re­tary Romeo Mon­tene­gro said Min­danao used to have fre­quent ro­ta­tional brownouts five years ago.

“In­creased in­vest­ment, in­creased growth of the in­fra­struc­ture, pro­lif­er­a­tion of in­dus­tries def­i­nitely will re­sult to in­crease de­mand in en­ergy,” he said adding that every ho­tel, es­tab­lish­ment, mall, or tow­ers re­quire about 5MW to 7MW of power to op­er­ate. With the num­ber of similar es­tab­lish­ments that had been built in Min­danao over the span of five years, it is un­der­stand­able how the power de­mand has also in­creased as well.

Mon­tene­gro also said over the course of five years, the elec­tric­ity de­mand in the is­land has also in­creased by about 510MW. He added the power sup­ply in Min­danao may still in­crease by 1,000MW by early next year as more large pow­er­plants, which are near­ing com­ple­tion, will have been com­mis­sioned on­line and will have been start­ing con­tribut­ing power to the grid.

“This is ex­actly the kind of sit­u­a­tion we wanted to see in Min­danao where our elec­tric­ity sup­ply is very much able and ca­pa­ble of de­liv­er­ing power when we need them the most, and able to ad­dress surg­ing de­mand in many of the in­dus­tries in con­struc­tion and all other sec­tors,” he added. Man­age­able ex­cess sup­ply Cur­rently, Min­danao’s power sup­ply is at a “com­fort­able” level, how­ever, Mon­tene­gro said a com­bi­na­tion of dif­fer­ent tech­nolo­gies is needed in the is­land to en­sure the kind of en­ergy mix that is ideal for power de­liv­ery to the dif­fer­ent in­dus­tries and to the house­holds.

“Hav­ing all these tech­nolo­gies come with a cost es­pe­cially that a sig­nif­i­cant amount of our en­ergy sup­ply comes from coal which is 100 per­cent im­ported and sub­ject for mar­ket volatil­ity and for­eign ex­change fluc­tu­a­tions,” Mon­tene­gro said adding that be­cause of the ca­pac­ity fee in­cor­po­rated in the price struc­ture, there is an ad­di­tional elec­tric­ity cost but as­sured that this is just a price to be paid for hav­ing this kind of elec­tric­ity make up.

He fur­ther em­pha­sized that the ex­cess sup­ply of Min­danao to­day should only be kept way up to five years so that pre­vi­ous sce­nario of de­mand out­strip­ping sup­ply will not hap­pen again.

“We don’t want a pic­ture where we have too much of ex­cess that is not nec­es­sar­ily needed. We just wanted to have an ex­cess level that is able to ad­dress im­me­di­ate growth de­mand of our econ­omy. The kind of ex­cess we have to­day are ac­tu­ally at man­age­able level,” he said.

“We also note that at the rate that our ecomonmy is grow­ing, the ex­cess that we have to­day of 600MW will be gone in five years time or less just as in the last five years, we man­aged to grow our de­mand in Min­danao by more than 500MW,” added Mon­tene­gro.


IN­CREAS­ING POWER DE­MAND. Minda ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor as­sis­tant sec­re­tary Romeo Mon­tene­gro said the in­creased power in Min­danao can be at­trib­uted to the in­creased in­vest­ment and growth of in­fra­struc­ture in the is­land.

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