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News > DOE backs Semirara’s new 50-MW Antique coal-fired power plant

DOE backs Semirara’s new 50-MW Antique coal-fired power plant

MANILA, Philippines -  The Department of Energy (DOE) and Semirara Mining and Power Corp. have struck a deal for the development of a 50-megawatt (MW) mine-mouth power plant in Antique to provide a secure and reliable power supply to the province and its neighboring off-grid islands.

DOE Secretary Alfonso Cusi, together with SMPC president and chief operating officer Victor Consunji and chairman and chief executive officer Isidro Consunji  recently signed a memorandum of understanding for the project.


“We assisted the development of a mine-mouth coal-fired power plant or a power plant using indigenous coal as fuel to address the growth in the baseload demand and required reserves of Semirara Island along with the other neighboring islands and provinces,” Cusi said.


Under the deal, SMPC will build an initial 50-MW mine-mouth plant and the National Transmission Corp. (TransCo) will enable the construction of the transmission lines.


“It will provide reliable, secured and much more affordable power to Occidental and Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque and Romblon and even Palawan, which already signified interest,” Cusi cited.


For its part, the DOE will endorse the power project as an Energy Project of National Significance under Executive Order 30 issued by President Duterte last June.

Moreover, the project will form part of the annually updated Philippine Energy Plan and Power Development Plan.


“What we are doing is creating solutions for our perennial energy problems in the island provinces,” Cusi said.


Earlier, the DOE said it is looking at the development of coal mine-mouth plants to allow the country to develop indigenous fuel sources and not rely on importation.

Coal mine-mouth plants are built close to a coal mine and this translates to lower electricity cost by removing the transport cost, according to the Philippine Chamber of Coal Mines Inc.


In 1977, the agency issued Coal Operating Contract 5 to SMPC for a coal mining project in Semirara Island in the town of Caluya, Antique.


Currently, SMPC has two operating mines in the island, the Molave and Narra Pits, of which about 70 percent of its production is for local demand while the rest is for export. It closed down Unong Mine in 2000 and the Panian Pit last year.