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Semirara to supply power to Mindoro

MANILA, Philippines -  Consunji-led Semirara Mining and Power Corp. is building a submarine cable that would supply 50 megawatts (MW) to Mindoro from its planned mine-mouth coal plant in Semirara Island in Antique.

The project will be done at the request of the Department of Energy (DOE) to provide surrounding island provinces with cheaper and baseload power.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said a memorandum of agreement (MOA) will be signed soon with Semirara for the submarine cable that will connect Semirara Island to Mindoro.

The MOA would allow Semirara to supply additional power to Mindoro through the submarine cable from the 50-MW mine-mouth coal plant it is planning to build, he said.

“That will change the economic landscape in Mindoro. But we have to make sure that the independent power producers (IPPs) will finish their contracts first so we would know the volume Mindoro would need,” Cusi said.

This is part of the DOE’s thrust to provide cheaper and reliable power source not only to the main islands but also to missionary islands.

“We also have to develop island provinces, which heavily rely on diesel plants for their power requirements which is expensive and intermittent. So we have to find a solution na magkaroon sila ng consistent power supply and affordable,” Cusi said.

Currently, Mindoro’s electricity requirements is being supplied by the National Power Corp. (Napocor) through its missionary electrification and DMCI Power Corp., an affiliate of Semirara which operates diesel and bunker power plants in Oriental Mindoro.

Late last year, Cusi said the department is studying the development of coal mine-mouth plants since it allows the country to develop indigenous fuel sources.

Coal mine-mouth plants are built close to a coal mine, translating to lower electricity cost by removing the transport cost, according to the Philippine Chamber of Coal Mines Inc. (PhilCoal).

Based on a PhilCoal study, the cost of generating electricity from mine-mouth plants is estimated between P2.61 per kilowatt-hour and P4.45 per kwh.

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