Saturday, 6 March 2010

Cebu power plant starts operation

Alena Mae S. Flores
Manila Standard

TOLEDO CITY, CEBU—Cebu Energy Development Corp. on Friday switched on the first of three units of a 246-megawatt coal-fired power plant here that will help ease the power shortage in the Visayas.

Visayas had reserves of 53 MW as of Friday morning with available power capacity of 1,253 MW against generating capacity of 1,200 MW.

“With this [switch on of 82 MW], we’re generating 73 MW to the grid, so at least the actual demand in Cebu will be met,” Cebu Energy president Jesus Alcordo told reporters.

The switch-on ceremony, attended by President Gloria Arroyo, comes at a time when Cebu and other parts of Visayas are in the mid of a precarious power situation.

The next two units of Cebu Energy’s coal-fired power plant are expected to be put into operation by the end of May and December this year, respectively.

The $450-million power plant, which is now 79.5 percent complete, has provided base-load plant for Cebu, the first time in over 20 years.

“We decided to put up this power plant with the end-goal of helping improve Cebu’s economy, creating more jobs, and helping Cebu move forward with more reliable, stable, and reasonably priced power,” the Cebu Energy official said.

Alcordo said he expected the power situation in the Visayas to fully stabilize with the commissioning of the 200-MW coal plant of Kepco-SPC Power Corp. by the first quarter of 2011.

“When the Kepco plant comes in... we will have sufficient reserves and a little surplus, approximately 31 MW,” Alcordo said.

The Cebu Energy is owned by Global Business Power Corp. of the Metrobank Group, Aboitiz Power Corp., Vivant Energy Corp. and Formosa Heavy Industries Corp., which acts as the technical partner.

Cebu Energy is using the latest circulating fluidized bed technology that ensures the proper discharge of emissions and wastes at practically negligible level.

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