GENERAL SANTOS -- The Alcantara Group has formally taken over the 102-megawatt (MW) Iligan diesel power plant from the Iligan City government, a company executive said on Thursday.
Oscar Benedict Contreras III, Alsons Power Business unit manager for communications and stakeholder relations, said the power plant was turned over on Monday and will operate under Mapalad Power Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of the publicly listed Alsons Consolidated Resources, Inc.
He placed the acquisition cost of the Iligan power plant at P387 million, adding that the total project cost, covering acquisition, rehabilitation and other expenses would amount to P1.2 billion.
With the takeover by the Mapalad Power, Mr. Contreras said that rehabilitation of the power plant has commenced and the plant might go on commercial stream "before the end of summer."
Mr. Contreras said Mapalad Power has forged sales agreements with the South Cotabato II Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Socoteco II) for 30 MW, Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative, Inc. for 18 MW, Iligan Light and Power, Inc. for 10 MW and Zamboanga del Sur Electric Cooperative, Inc. for 5 MW.
The acquisition of the Iligan diesel plant -- identified as one of solutions to ease Mindanao's power woes -- from the Iligan City government was worked out since last year, with the Commission on Audit conducting the procedural review for the transfer of ownership.
The Iligan local government earlier put the power plant on the auction bloc after state-owned National Power Corp. (Napocor) reportedly failed to settle the real property tax due to the city. The Alcantara Group originally operated the Iligan diesel power plant, formerly the Northern Mindanao Power Plant, through the build-operate-transfer scheme. The company turned the power plant to Napocor in 2003.
Parts of Mindanao have been suffering from power outages for weeks now with the generation deficiency of existing power plants on the island blamed for the problem. In this city, Socoteco II has implemented a four-hour daily rotational brownout since the start of the month.
Based on the website of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines on Thursday, the Mindanao grid had a supply deficiency of 320 MW, or roughly a fourth of the normal demand. Demand for the day was 1,163 MW while supply was only 843 MW.