Commercial operation of Alsons' first hydro project is on track

Published May 21, 2021, 4:14 PM

by Myrna M. Velasco

In line with its investment shift to renewable energy, Alcantara-led Alsons Consolidated Resources Inc. (ACR) said the commercial operation of its first 14.5-megawatt Siguil hydropower project is on track.

During the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting on May 20, ACR Executive Vice President Tirso G. Santillan noted that “work is ongoing…and Siguil hydro is on-track to commence commercial operations in early 2022 to provide a source of renewable, reliable and affordable power to key areas of Mindanao.”

The run-of-river Siguil hydropower plant in Sarangani is the company’s first foray in that technology development space. The capital outlay for the project had been pegged at P4.5 billion.

From that initial venture, Alsons Power blueprinted seven more hydropower projects – and these are to be sited mainly in Visayas and Mindanao grids.

The next ones in the line up will have aggregate capacity of 64 megawatts – and these will be the 22MW Siayan (Sindangan) hydropower venture in Zamboanga del Norte; and the proposed 42MW Bago hydropower generating facility in Negros Occidental.

Santillan emphasized “both projects are now in the process of completing the development phase,” and he further apprised the company stockholders that the next update will be towards the end of the year.

Alongside the hydro projects being pursued by the company, will be the completion of its 105MW San Ramon Power Inc. coal-fired power project in Zamboanga City that is eyed on stream by year 2024.

From the strong financial showing of the Alcantara-led firm last year and even in its first quarter results, ACR Vice President and Group Chief Finance Officer Alexander Benhur M. Simon indicated that the company “foresees stable energy demand in Mindanao for the rest of 2021.”

In fact, the faster pace of recovery in Mindanao last year propelled the firm’s financial upturn; while most industry players in other parts of the country suffered financial losses or pounded bottom lines because of the Covid-induced lockdowns which then crumbled power demand in many areas.

“Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, energy demand in Mindanao has recovered as most commercial and industrial customers have started to resume normal operations,” Simon said, specifying that these end-users include shopping malls, canneries and manufacturers of essential commodities.

The Alcantara group has an aggregate capacity of 468 megawatts to date with its electric generating facilities have been serving more than 8 million consumers in various parts of Mindanao.