$2.5 -B Kauswagan power plant rises

BACKSTOPPED by a number of big firms headed by the power unit of conglomerate Ayala Corporation, the $2.5-billion proposed Lanao Kauswagan power plant station will soon be fully operational and is expected to play a great role in spurring economic activities in Mindanao region.

Originally costing $1 billion, the project has ballooned to $2.5 billion and will come in three units totalling 540-megawatts to provide much-needed power in Mindanao from its GN Power Kausawagan Ltd. Co. in Lanao del Norte. 

The project involves the construction of a 552MW (4x138MW) coal-based power plant on 60 hectares of land. 

In addition, it includes the construction of a powerhouse, a substation, and related infrastructure facilities, the installation of turbines, and generators, and the laying of transmission lines. 

The company said the total estimated project cost would be funded through 70 percent debt and 30 percent equity. “The debt component will be financed by a syndicate of domestic and international banks,” it said

The site clearing began in August 2013 after an agreement for the sale of 330 MW of power from the plant to Power Supply Aggregation Group Corp. (PSAGCorp), a group of Mindanao electric cooperatives. 

Environmental permits for the project were issued in March 2014. 

GNPower, the joint venture company between AC Energy Holdings, Inc. (AC Energy), the power unit of conglomerate Ayala Corporation, and Power Partners Ltd. Co. (PPLC), is undertaking the construction of the Thermal Power Plant project.

The power plant will operate as a baseload plant to support the power demand and economic development of Mindanao.

“The plant will help alleviate the tight power supply situation in Mindanao,” Ayala Corp said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange. 

The construction of the plant is in full swing and is expected to be in commercial operation by 2018.

The plant is seen as an answer to the ever-growing demand for power in Mindanao.

 “We need it, given that Mindanao needs to embrace the phenomenal growth. In the next five to 10 years, we will see more malls mushrooming in Mindanao” one investor said. 

“There will be new ports, airports, and seaports which will trigger the much needed demand for electricity. We need to prepare for such eventualities to make sure that mechanism is available to adjust to that kind of reality” Ayala Corporation said. (With reports from Manila Bulletin/Maria Elyza Silva, Trainee)

 

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