The President and COO of Aboitiz Power, Antonio Moraza, has urged the Philippines Government to consider rehabilitation options for the Agus power plant in Mindanao, which currently has a dependable capacity of 400MW from its installed capacity of 727MW.
Moraza told business leaders at an investment conference in Davao City on 21 July, that with a huge surplus of power in Mindanao, the government can now consider a major rehabilitation of the decades-old power plant. With some of the Agus units constructed as early as the 1950’s, many sectors have been calling for an extensive rehabilitation of the facilities so it can operate at an optimum efficiency.
“With all the supply coming into Mindanao today, it may be time for the government to finally decide the fate of the Agus complex. Perhaps it is time for these old power plants to be rehabilitated,” Moraza said
He said with more power plants getting built, the perennial problem of the Mindanao power shortage is gone. He emphasised that the region must now take advantage of its energy surplus to spur the economy.
In the case of Agus, Moraza cited AboitizPower’s successful rehabilitation of the Ambuklao hydroelectric power plant in Ifugao, a facility built in 1956 that that was abandoned by the government after the 1990 earthquake that struck Baguio.
“We took over Ambuklao in 2008. We invested resources, brought in experts, and worked with the government to make the plant run again. In 2011, we not only brought back the plant but also increased its installed capacity from 70MW to 105MW. With the same amount of water, energy produced has increased by 50%,” Moraza said.
However, he said studies would have to be made in order to determine how the proposed Agus rehabilitation be done and by whom.