19 February 2004 - The government on Wednesday allayed fears of a possible power shortage in Mindanao by next year, assuring that solutions to the looming crisis are already underway.
Dr. Allan Ortiz, president and chief executive officer of the National Transmission Corp. said they have set their upgrading and expansion initiatives on a high gear to meet the growing power requirement of the island before the foreseen
power crisis by 2005.
"I can say that next year, the fears of a power shortage (here in Mindanao) will be over," Ortiz declared at the launching of the three-day Mindanao Power Development Program Roadshow here.
Transco said Mindanao at present has installed capacity of 1673 MW and a dependable capacity of 1320 MW.
But based on the firm's power development plan, Mindanao's peak demand for electricity is seen to increase by 1.24 per cent a year or from 1112 MW in 2004 to 1864 MW in 2013.
The increase was projected based on the 1.9 per cent annual population growth of the island and 4.8 per cent economic growth.
However, such figures do not yet include the expected additional power demand, pegged at 60 to 100 MW, with the reopening of the National Steel Corporation.
Transco cited that at least 74 per cent of the area's generation capacity comes from Northern Mindanao but 47 per cent of the total demand is in Southern Mindanao particularly in this city and Davao City area which registered a ten per cent increase over the last decade.
Ortiz said they have laid in place the ten-year Mindanao Transmission Augmentation Program (Minta) which sets an investment of at least P148.61 bn ($2.6bn) for the country's power sector, about 25 per cent or P37bn of which would cover Mindanao's needs.
Project Minta, he said, is primarily envisioned to provide medium and long-term solutions to address the potential Mindanao-wide power shortage beginning 2005.
Owing to this, Ortiz said they are accelerating the projected completion of Minta's Leyte-Mindanao Interconnection Project to 2008, originally set at 2011.
"The normal time in putting up a power plant would take at least three to five years but we will complete the Leyte-Mindanao interconnection in three years," he assured.
Ortiz said the interconnection would assure an additional 500 MW of electricity for Mindanao coming from power sources in Luzon and Visayas.
To complement the interconnection, he said they are promoting the entry of investments from the private sector for new power plants within the General Santos and Davao areas.