Saturday, October 31, 2015

Meralco eyes Pampanga distribution utility

By Danessa O. Rivera (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 31, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Manila Electic Co. (Meralco), the country’s biggest electricity retailer, is eyeing another distribution utility (DU) in Pampanga continuing the expansion of its distribution network in other areas of the country.

“We’re looking at DUs in the provinces. [It’s] quite a number we’re looking at,” Meralco chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said.

“Probably another Pelco (Pampanga Electric Cooperative),” he added.

Securing a new DU will likely take place next year, Pangilinan said.

Data from the National Electrification Administration (NEA) showed there are four electric cooperatives (ECs) in Pampanga, namely: Pampanga Rural (Presco), Pelco I, Pelco II and Pelco III.

In 2014, Meralco slowed down on acquisitions to focus on the rehabilitation of a debt-ridden electric cooperative in Pampanga, Pelco II.

Last year, it signed a technical services agreement with Comstech Integration Alliance Inc. for the investment and management contract of Pampanga Pelco II as authorized by the NEA.

Comstech manages and operates the said Pampanga EC.

Meralco has been tapped to upgrade the power distribution system of Pelco II, distributor of electricity to the city of Mabalacat and towns of Guagua, Bacolor, Sta. Rita, Lubao, and Porac.

Meralco’s entry into Pelco II was firmed up after it acquired 60 percent of Comstech last February.

Last Sept. 30, Pelco II has settled its outstanding obligation with state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) amounting to P1.095 billion.

Following this development, Meralco resumed exploring opportunities and talks with potential DUs and ECs, company president Oscar S. Reyes said earlier.

The power distributor has been scouting for opportunities on growing its electric distribution area in North Luzon and South Luzon through acquisitions of ECs and private DUs.

Currently, Meralco’s franchise area covers over 5.7 million customers in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite and Rizal, as well as certain areas in Batangas, Laguna, Pampanga and Quezon. source

Emerging Power gets subsidy for Mindoro geothermal plant

By Danessa O. Rivera (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 31, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Renewable energy firm Emerging Power Inc. has signed a tripartite Universal Charge for Missionary Electrification (UCME) agreement with state-run National Power Corp. (Napocor) and two electric cooperatives (ECs) in Mindoro province.

Signed last Oct. 26, the agreement allows Napocor to provide appropriate UCME subsidy to EPI for its 40-megawatt (MW) geothermal power plant in Naujan, Oriental Mindoro, Emerging Power said in a statement.

The two electric cooperatives were Oriental Mindoro Electric Cooperative (Ormeco) and Occidental Mindoro Electric Cooperative (Omeco).

The UCME agreement is also a requirement precedent to the power supply agreement of EPI with Omeco and Ormeco.

EPI president Martin Antonio Zamora said the firm’s geothermal project would bring Mindoro towards energy independence.

“This UCME agreement is a testament that renewable energy is not only good for the environment, it is also friendly on the pocket. The island will be the poster boy for clean, reliable and cost-efficient energy,” Zamora, said.

Under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001, is collected from end-users which will be used for the electrification of remote communities or areas not connected to the main transmission grid.

The 40-MW geothermal project is expected to deliver its first 10 MW by April 2017.

Being a renewable energy development, EPI said its geothermal project would not rely on international fuel prices, cutting down the cost of power generation in the island by half. source

Friday, October 30, 2015

Meralco eyes more electric cooperatives

Manila Standard Today
Posted October 30, 2015 at 11:45 pm by Alena Mae S. Flores

Manila Electric Co., the biggest retailer of electricity, plans to participate in the privatization of another electric cooperative next year, a ranking official said Friday.

“We’re looking at distribution utilities in the provinces. Quite a number we’re looking. Maybe next year,” Meralco chairman Manuel Pangilinan told reporters.

Meralco disclosed to the Philippine Stock Exchange in February it agreed to subscribe to the new shares to be issued by Comstech Integration Alliance Inc. The shares valued at P300 million are divided into three million shares with a par value of P100 apiece. The shares represent 60 percent of the authorized capital stock of Comstech.

Comstech was awarded a 20-year contract to operate and manage Pampanga II Electric Cooperative Inc. in February last year. Meralco also serves as Comstech’s technical advisor.

The contract calls for the investor-manager to settle Pelco II’s debts with the National Electrification Administration and power suppliers.

The entry of Meralco in Comstech allowed Pelco II to turn around its finances. It recently paid Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. the balance of a restructured obligation amounting to almost P1.1 billion .

“Management is there already [in Pelco II]. So their starting to turn it around, investing slowly in capex,” Pangilinan said.

Pleco II is the first electric cooperative to succeed under an investment and management contract, a program of the NEA.

In October 2010, the PSALM board approved the restructuring of Pelco II’s unpaid power obligations.

Pelco II serves seven towns and municipalities in Pampanga province—Mabalacat, Guagua, Lubao, Porac, Sta. Rita, Sasmuan and Bacolor.

Meralco is also pursuing the construction of more power plants. Talks between Meralco’s power generation unit Meralco PowerGen Corp. and Osaka Gas of Japan over the construction of a 1,500-megawatt liquefied natural gas integrated facility in Luzon. are progressing

Yoshihiko Kimata, chairman’s representative of Osaka Gas Singapore Pte. Ltd., told reporters earlier the company and Meralco PowerGen “are communicating periodically.”

Kimata said the joint feasibility study for the planned project was in progress.

“It’s going on,” he said, although he did not provide a timeline for the implementation of the project.

“At this moment, we are more interested with the Meralco project. We have limited resources so we cannot look [at] many projects at the same time,” he said.

Meralco PowerGen officials earlier said the 1,500-MW LNG facility was estimated to cost $2 billion.

Meralco PowerGen plans to make its final investment decision on the project within the year.

Pangilinan earlier said talks were ongoing while the feasibility study remained to be conducted.

“We’ll find out before the end of the year if it’s a go,” Pangilinan said.

Pangilinan said the parties were looking at an integrated natural gas facility that would include an LNG terminal and power plant. source

Semirara set to run bigger Calaca plant

Manila Standard Today
Posted October 30, 2015 at 11:40 pm by Alena Mae S. Flores

Semirara Mining & Power Corp. expects to start the full commercial operations of the 300-megawatt coal-fired power plant expansion in Calaca, Batangas in November, a top executive said Friday.

Semirara Mining chairman and chief executive Isidro Consunji said the project, which involved two units of 150-MW capacity each, was undergoing testing and commissioning.

“Both [are] under commissioning… Maybe in two weeks, [it will be fully operational],” Consunji said, when asked about the project update.

Semirara Mining’s subsidiary South Luzon Power Generation Corp. is developing the 300-MW coal plant expansion.

The Consunji group owns the existing 600-MW coal-fired power plant in Calaca, Batangas which it acquired from the government in 2009.

The plants have also undergone rehabilitation to ensure reliable delivery of power.

“With the normalization of Sem-Calaca Power units 1 and 2 and completion of our power expansion project under Southwest Luzon, we expect both operating segments to deliver steady growth for the company,” Consunji said earlier.

He said the company was optimistic about prospects for 2015 and onwards with the rehabilitation of the existing plant and the completion of the expansion project.

“This year the 2 by 150 MW will start contributing revenue from the sale of power from new power supply agreements,” he said.

Semirara Mining is on the lookout for a possible joint venture partner for another 350-MW power plant in Calaca which would cost P22 billion.

A new company would be created for the expansion, although it was not clear if the new plant would be located on the same site as the existing 600-MW Calaca coal facility and the 300-MW station nearing completion.

Semirara engages in the exploration, development and mining of coal resources in the Philippines. The company holds interests in various coal resources located in Semirara Island, Caluya, Antique.

Semirara said earlier it expected consolidated net income to reach P10 billion this year, on additional generating capacity from new power projects and increased utilization of current plants.

The company said it expected an estimated income of P1 billion from the commercial operations of the 300-megawatt coal power plant expansion in Calaca. source

2-hour rotating power interruption to hit Davao

Sunstar Davao
Friday, October 30, 2015

A TOTAL of two-hour rotating power interruption will be implemented in Davao City after power deficiency reached 27-megawatt (MW), the Davao Light Power Company (DLPC) said.
The city's forecasted average power demand as of Friday is at 285 MW. Much higher than the power utility distribution's average power supply allocation on Friday which was down to 109 MW, a 150-percent lower than its contracted supply of 273 MW.
Adding to the 109 MW power capacity is the other power supply contracts of DLPC with Hedcor Sibulan and Talomo, Therma Marine Inc., and Therma South Inc. and the power generated from the Bajada Power Plant and the power saved from activating the Interruptible Load Program, resulting to DLPC's the total average supply of 258 MW.
"However, this (258 MW) is still not enough to supply the forecasted average demand for the day which is 285 MW, giving a 27 MW deficiency within the Davao Light franchise," Rossano C. Luga, AVP for DLPC's Reputation Enhancement Department said.
The 27 MW deficiency will now result to a two-hour rotating power interruption.
Causing DLPC and Mindanao's power deficiency is the Mindanao-wide emergency shutdown of two major power plants in Mindanao imposed by National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).
Last October 29, NGCP implemented Mindanao-wide grid curtailment due to the derated capacity of Pulangi and Agus hydropower plants due to low water elevation in effect of the El Niño. It also activated an under frequency due to the sudden interruption of Agus-Kibawe 138 Kilovolt (Kv) Line caused by the emergency shutdown of Agus 1 and 2. The NGCP is still investigating the incident to determine cause of tripping which occurred on the evening of October 29.
Mindanao-wide grid curtailment and the under frequency activation of NGCP had caused the capacity deration of one of the plants in Agus complex and Pulangi hydroelectric plant and the shutdown of Agus-Kibawe line which led to the 150 MW grid deficiency in Mindanao.
At present, DLPC's systems operations engineers are closely coordinating with the NGCP and the National Power Corporation (NPC) - Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (Psalm) to get an hourly update on the power supply situation.
Meanwhile, the Mindanao Development Authority (Minda)-led Mindanao Power Monitoring Committee (MPMC) cited that NPC showed that the water levels in Lanao Lake is now reaching critical levels at 699.86 meters above sea level (masl), nearing the lake's minimum operating level of 699.15 masl. as of October 30, 2015.
Pulangi IV is only producing 60 MW from 144 MW on October 26. While Agus hydropower plants are only producing 214 MW.
As of Friday, NGCP website bared that Mindanao system capacity is at 1,357 MW with a system peak of 1436 MW. The island's power reserve is at -79 MW while the peak deficiency is at 166 MW affecting different areas in the island is noted. source
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 31, 2015.

Meralco eyes purchase of Pampanga electric co-op

Business Mirror
by Lenie Lectura - October 30, 2015

THE Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) is looking at acquiring another electric cooperative (EC) in Pampanga to expand its presence in the distribution sector, more particularly, outside of its franchise area.

“We’re looking at distribution utilities in the provinces, quite a number we’re looking at. Probably another Pelco [Pampanga Electric Cooperative Inc.],” Meralco Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said.

Preparation to acquire the said EC would start next year, he added. Pangilinan, who was born in Apalit town, did not identify if Meralco would acquire Pelco I or Pelco III.

In 2014 Meralco took over the management and operations of the beleaguered Pelco II, which supplies electricity to the towns of Guagua, Bacolor, Santa Rita, Lubao and Porac. This, after Meralco and Comstech Integration Alliance Inc. (Comstech) won the bidding for the Investment and Management Contract (IMC) of Pelco II.

Under the 20-year contract, Pelco II will still own the cooperative, but Meralco and Comstech will manage and operate it under the IMC. The contract provides that Meralco and ComsTech will assume responsibility for the electric cooperative’s debts with the National Electrification Administration (NEA) and its power supplier. Just recently, the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM).received in full the balance of the restructured obligation of Pelco II amounting to almost P1.1 billion.

Backed by IMC and a loan from the Philippine National Bank, Pelco II was able to prepay its restructured account with PSALM, which originally amounted to P1.43 billion to be amortized within a period of 10 years beginning October 2010.

The government is encouraging ECs to consider IMC as an option to address their financial concerns. When asked of Meralco’s participation in the debt payment of Pelco II, Pangilinan said, “Management is there already. So, they are starting to turn it around, investing slowly in capex [capital expenditure].”

Meralco is the country’s largest electric-power distribution company. It is bent on acquiring DUs and/or ECs not only to expand its presence, but to provide improved service and least cost of electricity outside of its franchise area.

The utility firm has a franchise service area covering 9,337 square kilometers and distributes power to over 5 million customers in 34 cities and 77 municipalities in Metro Manila, the provinces of Rizal, Cavite and Bulacan, and parts of the provinces of Pampanga, Batangas, Laguna and Quezon. It supplies power to about 75 percent of the power in Luzon and 55 percent of the whole country.

Meralco President Oscar S. Reyes earlier said Meralco is “looking for new opportunities in new areas.” In particular, Reyes said the utility firm is “looking in the north from Pampanga all the way to La Union. In the south, from parts of Laguna, where we are not yet there, to Batangas.”

He added that Meralco’s interest could be “as far as parts of the Visayas and Mindanao.”

“There are areas where Meralco can be of value because we have the resources, we have the track record and we have the experience,” Reyes said. source

Blasts topple 2 NGCP towers anew

Manila Times
October 30, 2015 10:22 pm

Power was cut off in several areas in Mindanao after unidentified perpetrators set off bombs that toppled two steel pylons of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) in Patani village, Marawi City.
Beth Ladaga, NGCP Mindanao information officer, said the blast damaged Towers 19 and 20 that caused the isolation of Agus 1 and 2 from the entire Mindanao grid.
The sudden 150-megawatt power deficiency caused power outage in Marawi City and other areas in the provinces of Lanao Del Sur, Bukidnon and the Davao Region.
Ladaga said they are looking into the possibility that the attack was related to the company’s request to land owners who were intentionally planting trees under power lines.
He related that some power interruptions in some areas in Lanao are caused by the trees planted underneath the towers.
The blast occurred two weeks after two different NGCP towers in North Cotabato were blasted by suspected radicals in Southern Philippines.
Col. Roseller Murillo, commanding officer of the Army’s 103rd Brigade Philippine, said troops were sent early morning to Barangay Patani to secure the area for NGCP’s technicians for restoration activities.
No one was reported hurt or injured in the said explosion that caused fear among the residents in the area, the police reports said.
Police investigators are eyeing extortion as the possible motive behind the explosion.
source Anthony Vargas and Fernan Marasigan

EPI obtains subsidy for Mindoro power project

Manila Times
October 30, 2015 9:29 pm

State-run National Power Corp. (NPC) will give renewable energy company Emerging Power Inc. a subsidy for providing geothermal power in the province of Mindoro, it was learned Friday.
The amount was not disclosed, but it will come from the Universal Charge for Missionary Electrification (UCME) fund, a provision under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) designed to ensure the delivery of reliable electricity to marginalized areas and those that are not connected to the main grid.
EPI is getting the subsidy after it recently started construction of its geothermal power plant in Mindoro and signed a power supply agreement with two electric cooperatives in the province.
The two electric cooperatives were Oriental Mindoro Electric Cooperative (ORMECO) and Occidental Mindoro Electric Cooperative (OMECO).
However, the government’s plan is for NPC to eventually remove the subsidy.
In the meantime, the subsidy will allow EPI to deliver its 40-megawatt (MW) geothermal power plant in Naujan, Oriental Mindoro.
EPI President Martin Antonio Zamora said the firm’s geothermal project would bring Mindoro to energy independence.
“This UCME agreement is a testament that renewable energy is not only good for the environment, but is also friendly on the pocket,” Zamora said. “The island will be the ‘poster boy’ for clean, reliable, and cost-efficient energy.”
EPI’s 40MW geothermal project is expected to cut the cost of power generation in the island by half, as it would no longer depend on rising world oil prices.
EPI claimed that at 92 percent plant utilization, the UCME subsidy allotted for Mindoro would significantly decrease.
The project is expected to deliver its first 10 MW by April of 2017.
EPI is majority owned by Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC), one of the country’s biggest mining firms listed at the Philippine Stock Exchange.
In a past disclosure, NAC said it would guarantee the loan facility of EPI for up to P3 billion over a three-year period to finance EPI’s renewable energy projects.
EPI is also putting up a 100-MW geothermal power plant in Biliran, a 150-MW solar and wind park in Subic, a 35-MW Solar Hybrid plant in Palawan, and a 10-MW solar project in Camarines Sur. source

NEA bags good governance award

Manila Times
October 30, 2015 9:26 pm

The National Electrification Administration (NEA) was recognized as the first government-owned and -controlled corporation (GOCC) to bag the Island of Good Governance (IGG) after showing a stellar performance in the public sector.
The NEA said in a statement that the award was given by the Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA) on October 21.
NEA administrator Edita Bueno said in the statement that the agency targets to accomplish three goals by the end of 2015 “to raise the standard of public governance.”
She cited the two unaccomplished goals which are 100 percent energization of 32,441 sitios and providing another 1.4 million connection for customer.
The administrator stressed the GOCC is nearing its sitio-electrification target of 32,441 as it has energized a total of 27,011 sitios. She added the count brings a total of 55 million Filipinos served by the Rural Electrification Program (REP).
Bueno also reported the NEA connected its 11 millionth consumer. It is vital in reaching the 90 percent household electrification target by 2017, which is expected to grow to 85 percent by the end of this year from 86,229 households.
For the third goal, which was already implemented, she said NEA targeted to loan out P5 billion to electric cooperatives (ECs). However, the GOCC has already released a total of P6.78 billion.
The NEA head also said that “people’s involvement was one of the strong points of NEA, creating a sense of ownership for the employees for the programs that they implement.”
Lawyer Fe Barin, former chairperson of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Energy Regulatory Commission, also praised NEA for being an enabler.
“You’re an enabler, providing electric cooperatives financial and technical assistance to energized areas,” she said.
The ISA will showcase a good governance report undertaken by NEA and other IGG awardees in the upcoming Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit. PNA source

Mindanao power supply drops again due to reduced capacity of 2 hydropower plants

Business World Online
Posted on October 30, 2015 07:23:00 PM
By Marifi S. Jara

DAVAO CITY -- Power supply in the Mindanao grid has again been reduced beginning Oct. 29 due to an emergency shutdown of some facilities. The supply cut comes after the production capacity of the Agus and Pulangi hydroelectric complexes continued to decrease.

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) power situation outlook as of 1:00 p.m. yesterday indicates a Mindanao grid deficiency of 79 megawatts (MW) with system capacity at 1,357 MW while peak demand was 1,436 MW.

Davao Light and Power Company (Davao Light), the biggest buyer from the Mindanao grid with a contracted supply of 273 megawatts (MW), said in a statement that NGCP has reduced its allocation to only 109 MW.

“(T)he NGCP had implemented a Mindanao-wide grid curtailment due to the derated capacity of Pulangi and Agus hydropower plants due to low water elevation in effect of the El Niño,” the company said.

Data from the Web site of the National Power Corporation, which manages the two hydropower complexes, shows the Agus 4 dam in Lanao, del Norte was at 358.56 meters above sea level (masl) as of Oct. 30, which is still slightly above the normal operating level of 357 masl.

On the other hand, the Pulangi 4 in Bukidnon, with a normal operating level of 282 masl, was at 282.15 masl.

At around 9:00 p.m. of Oct. 29, the NGCP activated an under frequency status due to a sudden interruption in the Agus-Kibawe line caused by the emergency shutdown of two plants in the Agus complex, Davao Light said.

Davao Light, which serves Davao City and parts of Davao del Norte province, announced a two-hour rotating brownout in its franchise areas effective yesterday.

The Aboitiz Power Corp. subsidiary is tapping back-up supply from its embedded plants as well as from sister-firms Hedcor, Inc., Therma Marine Inc., and Therma South Inc. The interruptible load program with commercial and industrial consumers has also been activated.

However, the combined available supply of 258 MW will still be 27 MW short of Davao Light’s projected average demand of 285 MW.

Reduced supply in the main grid came barely two weeks after the NGCP gave the Mindanao Power Monitoring Committee (MPMC) assurance that the energy situation in the southern island is expected to be stable in the coming months despite a worst case scenario under the El Niño.

Earlier, Bryan H. Diosma, MPMC technical head, said the two hydroelectric plants have already been slowly put under “economy shutdown” to reduce the water used.

The Agus and Pulangi plants, with a combined installed capacity of 982 MW, have already been operating below capacity even before the El Niño and the this could go down to as much as 352 MW with the continued drought. -- with a report from Carmelito Q. Francisco source

UK firm wins engineering, supply deal for Subic solar-farm project

Business Mirror
by Marvyn N. Benaning - Correspondent 
October 30, 2015

SUBIC BAY FREE PORT—The solar-energy company Proinso has won the contract as the engineering, procurement and management (EPM) provider for a 100-megawatt (MW) solar-farm project in this free port. Based on information from, the project will be the largest of its kind in Southeast Asia.

Proinso, which is based in the United Kingdom (UK), is one the world’s largest integrators of solar components and solutions. The Subic Bay contract will allow Proinso to increase its penetration in the highly competitive Asian photovoltaic (PV) market. Stuart Macfarlane, Proinso’s regional head for Asia Pacific, said: “The Subic Bay engagement is a complex project demanding a high level of capability support across many disciplines provided via our EPM program. Our EPM model is based on a collaborative approach working with local partners. This way, Proinso is able to deliver world-class renewable assets and also invest in the development of a strong local industry.”

Proinso will work in the project in partnership with Asiacrest Marketing Corp.

The project will also allow Proinso to increase its team in the Philippines to over 30 members. Lawrence Plata, Asiacrest Marketing Corp. president and CEO, added: “Proinso’s stellar reputation in the renewable-energy sector attracted Asiacrest to get on board as the exclusive distributor and country representative in the Philippine market. We are tapping experts from the UK, Spain and Australia to design and execute the project.

These experts will also engage in a knowledge-transfer program to develop the skills of our young and dynamic team of local engineers. We have more solar projects in the pipeline, which we hope will help to speed up economic and social development.”

UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) in Manila supported Proinso’s entry into the Philippine market. The British Embassy said events like the Great Campaign weekend and the Cities of the Future Exhibition have helped Proinso to clinch the Subic Bay contract.

British Ambassador Asif Ahmad also welcomed the contract won by Proinso.

“The UK is committed to action on climate change and Proinso is a great example of our business expertise in renewable energy and low-carbon initiatives. A project of this scale will utilize the abundance of solar energy in the Philippines and help the country develop a cleaner energy mix,” Amad noted. David Taylor, International Trade adviser, UKTI, added: “Proinso is a fantastic example of a company with a clear, ambitious strategy to target international markets. UKTI has been working hand in hand with Proinso to facilitate that strategy. The Subic Bay Project will be one of the biggest for a UK business in the Philippines this year.”

Formed in 2006, Proinso has become a leader in the PV industry, with extensive experience of systems integration in grid-tied, off-grid, storage and diesel hybrid solutions across residential, commercial, industrial and utility applications.

Its product line includes various inverters, modules, trackers, structures and accessories from leading manufacturers across the world. Proinso is the only UK-based solar energy company with international markets that account for 88 percent of its sales. It has offices in Spain, Germany, Greece, Italy, the US, the UK, Canada, China, Brazil, Australia, Japan, South Africa, Mexico and India. Proinso has supplied over 2 gigawatts of solar equipment in 18 countries across the world, Plata said. source

Blast topples 2 NGCP towers in Marawi City

By Froilan Gallardo on October 30 2015 10:48 am

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/30 October) — Unidentified men bombed two towers of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines in Marawi City cutting off electricity generated from the Agus 1 and 2 hydro plants from the Mindanao grid.

Beth Ladaga, NGCP regional communications officer in Mindanao said towers 19 and 20 were toppled by the bombing that occurred around 9:20pm Thursday night causing power loss in several areas of the Mindanao grid.

Ladaga said the toppling of the two towers caused a 150-megawatt deficiency as electricity produced by Agus 1 and 2 was isolated from the entire Mindanao grid.

“Our technicians will start restoration work as soon as the area is secured by the army and police,” she said.

Lieutenant Virgilio Dorotan, a company commander of the Army 65th Infantry Battalion said the soldiers and policemen only managed to enter and secure the blast site in Barangay Patani in Marawi City at around 5am Friday.

“We found the two towers toppled on its side but we have already secured the area for the NGCP repairmen to begin their work,” Dorotan said.

He said they still had no idea who exploded the bombs as Army ordnance specialists were still in the blast site to check the evidence left.

The village of Patani is located one kilometer away from the Marawi-Iligan highway.

The bombing came two days after the NGCP released a press statement complaining that an “uncooperative landowner” in Marawi demanded money and refused entry to their repairmen.

The NGCP said at least 30 megawatts of electricity produced from the Agus 1 hydroelectric dam became isolated from the Mindanao grid because of the incident.

Bombings of electric towers operated by the NGCP have occurred several times in Mindanao. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews) source

United Holdings budgets P1.2-B for hydropower plant in Bukidnon

By Danessa O. Rivera (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 30, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Local renewable energy firm United Holdings Power Corp. (UHPC) is earmarking P1.2 billion for the construction of an 8.4-megawatt (MW) hydropower project in Bukidnon to help augment power supply in Mindanao.
In a briefing, UHPC president Dominic Sytin said the Upper Maladugao hydropower plant will be financed through 30 percent equity and 70 percent debt.
He noted the project, which will be undertaken by wholly-owned unit UHPC Bukidnon Hydro Power I Corp., has reached financial closure with BDO Unibank Inc.
Detailed engineering design was also completed by Meadowland Developers Inc. earlier this month, Sytin added.
These developments would allow the company to move forward with the bidding process for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) and electro-mechanical equipment (EME).
Bidding for the EPC and EME will commence in November to meet the first quarter 2016 construction target and first quarter 2018 completion, UHPC business development officer Marti Sandino P. Espenido said in the same briefing.
For the EPC contract, the company has shortlisted four contractors: Sta. Clara International, JV Angeles Construction, Meralco Industrial Engineering Services Corp. (Miescor) and Phesco Inc.
“Awarding [for the EPC contract] is targeted by December but latest would be in January,” Espenido said.
Meanwhile, the company is looking at European suppliers for the EME, namely Andritz, Wasserkraft, Global Hydro and WKV.
Espenido said proposals are now being reviewed and supply contract is also seen by December.

Meralco digs deeper into renewable energy

By Danessa O. Rivera (The Philippine Star) | Updated October 30, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), the country’s biggest power distributor, is actively pursuing renewable energy (RE) projects as part of plans to diversify its power generating portfolio.
Meralco president Oscar S. Reyes said they are in discussions with developers of RE projects which include solar, wind, run-of-river, other hyro projects and gas.
“We have various talks on project proponents with wind, solar, on run-of-river, other hydro projects and potentially on gas,” he said.
“These are the things that we are looking at because we do not want to be a one fuel generator, we would like to spread the risks from different types of plants,” he added.
Last July, Meralco chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan bared plans of spinning off new unit for RE investments, a separate entity from the group’s power generating unit Meralco Powergen Corp. (MGen).
MGen is building a portfolio of up to 3,000 megawatts (MW) of new power capacity, mainly from baseload power plants, to address the growing energy demand in the country.
Meralco will initially target solar, particularly solar rooftops, in its thrust in the RE sector, Pangilinan said. “Not just utility grade solar but we will start probably with rooftops,” he said.
Solar-powered rooftops are seen as a big threat to the distribution business of Meralco, which counts over 5.7 million customers within its franchise area.
Pangilinan noted entering the solar market will allow Meralco to disrupt its own business, a more preferable scenario than other companies doing so.
“We think of it as a future threat so we will be the first to disrupt ourselves because if we don’t do it, others will do it for us. So rather than have somebody kill us, we might as well kill ourselves because it will be more fun,” he explained.

Basic Energy-Trans-Asia geothermal tie-up okayed

October 29, 2015

Basic Energy Corporation has received the green light from the Department of Energy for its farm-in agreement with Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corporation to jointly develop Basic Energy’s geothermal service contract in Mabini, Batangas, the company said  in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange.
The approved arrangement calls for a 75-25 equity and project cost participation between Basic Energy and Trans-Asia. Under the terms of the agreement, Trans-Asia will shoulder 25-percent undivided participating interest in the rights, interests, privileges, duties and obligations in and under Geothermal Service Contract No. 8.
Trans-Asia decided to share in the cost of the first exploration well committed under sub-phase 3 of the geothermal service contract after undertaking due diligence on the project, including geophysical work. This validated previous prospective estimates that the project could generate between 20 MW and 60 MW of energy.
Basic Energy, as the operator of the service contract, plans to drill the first well by the second quarter of next year.