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Alsons offers ancillary services to NGCP to boost Mindanao supply

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ALSONS Consolidated Resources, Inc. said on Thursday its power group’s diesel plant in Sarangani had offered to provide ancillary services amounting to 55 megawatts (MW) to privately owned grid operator National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) to help stabilize power supply in south-central Mindanao.

In a statement, the Alcantara-led company said under the proposed ancillary services procurement agreement (ASPA), NGCP will receive up the electricity from the diesel power plant of its unit Southern Philippines Power Corp. (SPPC) in Alabel, Sarangani.

“Through ancillary services, power generators help ensure the stability of portions of the power grid by reserving and allocating generating capacity that can be dispatched immediately by NGCP in case there are systems imbalances due to tripping of some generating units in the grid or lack of capacity in a particular area of the grid,” Alsons said.

The ancillary services will benefit Region 12 or Soccsksargen, the four regions and two cities South Cotabato, Cotabato City, Cotabato Province, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos City.

Alsons’ proposal follows the ASPA signed between NGCP and its power group’s 100-MW Western Mindanao Power Corp. (WMPC) in Zamboanga City.

The agreement will provide the power grid operator with dispatchable generating capacity, reactive power support, and “black start” capability, or the process of restoring a power system to recover from shutdown.

It will stabilize the power grid in Region 9 or Western Mindanao covering the Zamboanga Peninsula. The agreement awaits approval from the Energy Regulatory Commission.

Edgar D. Sevilles, Alsons’ power group vice-president who heads diesel operations, said the two power plants have been providing the needed capacity for the Mindanao grid during the period when the island was experiencing a power shortage. This was through an exclusive energy conversion agreement (ECA) with the National Power Corp. (Napocor).

He said although the Napocor ECA had ended, the grids in the Zamboanga Peninsula and south-central Mindanao still require assurance of a continuous flow of “the right quality of electricity and this is why we have offered the ancillary services of our diesel plants in Zamboanga City and Alabel, Sarangani to NGCP.”

Under the ECA, the two Alsons diesel plants ensured the stability of the grid by providing ancillary services.

Alsons operates four power facilities in Mindanao. Aside from the WMPC and SPPC plants, the group runs the 103-MW Mapalad Power Corp. diesel plant in Iligan City and the first 105-MW section of the 210-MW Sarangani Energy Corp. baseload coal-fired power plant in Maasim, Sarangani province. The Sarangani plant’s second 105-MW section is expected to begin commercial operations in the first quarter of 2019.

The group’s other projects for the coming years are the 15.1-MW Siguil River hydroelectric power plant in Sarangani, which is set to start operating in 2021, and the 105-MW San Ramon Power, Inc. coal-fired power plant in Zamboanga City, which is expected to begin operating in 2022. — Victor V. Saulon