By: Bingo P. Dejaresco III
Added to the emerging options for Bohol electric power source is a “Granfloat” technology featuring 100MW of (Liquid Natural Gas) -based floating power plant to be erected off the shores of Ubay.
The completion of the power plant would short-circuit the impending power crisis as the new Panglao airport and the tourism industry players start hankering for more electricity by the first quarter of 2018.
The province just emerged from a back-breaking 21-hour power outage that crippled businesses activities and enraged irate consumers over the last weekend.
The floating terminal and power plant is being eyed by SUWECO (Sunwest Water and Electric Co) established in 2005, that has been providing electricity and water generation and distribution especially to the rural areas.
Last year, SUWECO erected three renewable power plants in the islands of Romblon, Antique and Catanduanes. The Romblon plant was built for P225-Million.
DISTINCT ADVANTAGES OF LNG POWER PLANT
In a presentation made at the SUWECO office in Ortigas last Tuesday in the presence of 2nd district Rep Aristotle Aumentado and technical consultant Nards De Guzman, the foreign group said that based on current and projected prices, LNG will be cheaper than both fossil oil and diesel.
The 11MW city power plant is run by diesel while the Leyte-sourced geothermal power has been largely unstable. The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines had long recommended for Bohol to have its own power-sourced facility. Unverified reports say the contract for the Bohol-Leyte underwater interconnection agreement is nearing its review stage.
The floating terminal is relatively cheaper to construct and safer to install than land-based facilities as it is virtually insulated from earthquakes, can be transferable to another location from its embedded anchor and LNG is environment friendly, according to the foreigner-presentors.
Calculations are bring made by SUWECO as to the cheapest source of LNG gas and transportation where the final price for the consumer per kilowatt hour will be cheaper than the coal-based plants.
A 100MW coal plant is also reportedly being proposed by the San Miguel Group led by its president Ramon Ang- but had encountered some opposition from local environmentalists.
Senator Loren Legarda ,United Nations champion for environment, had questioned the contradiction in the “Philippines signing the Paris Agreement to limit the rise in global temperature by 2 degree Celsius yearly and yet approved 25 coal power plants up to 2030.”
Coal emissions have been linked to health, air quality and environment hazard. In the United States, the government is decommissioning most of the coal power plants which are now down to 1% of total. “Coal has been defeated by public opposition”, former US Vice president Al Gore declared.
DENR secretary Gina Lopez, staunch environmentalist, is likewise against coal usage. LNG is a clean, non -emitting alternative.
NEW COUNTRY LNG USERS
Egypt, Jordan and Poland are currently LNG power plant users and Pakistan with 180 million people has upped its LNG power source from 1,800 MW to 3,700MW.. Conscious of the massive earthquake years ago, Japan is also studying a floating LNG gas facility off its shores for 7,000 MW total power capacity.Likewise, Senegal and Bangladesh.
There are currently 19 nations that are exporting LNG and Singapore would be the nearest base to the Philippines.
The IFC (International Finance Corporation) and the World Bank invested both equity and debt of US$10-B to Pakistan’s LNG power plant. The last plant was set in record time of one year unlike the more tedious land based power plants.
The IFC based its decision on Pakistan to the fact that blackouts ate up 6% of the country’s GDP’s with 8 hours blackouts in rural areas and “longer in the rural areas.”
Bohol’s peak need before 2018 is 65 MW where the 7 MW hydroelectric power plants in Balilihan and Loboc are the only small adjuncts to the diesel plant and the Leyte sources.
In 2013, the Global Business Power Corporation earlier proposed a coal powered facility, the Japan Energy Corporation a 10MW solar plant in Bien Unido and a 50MW Jagna wind power plant has been eyed. The Cantakoy hydro power project of the Ayala group has been effectively scuttled.
Since 2007 , the interconnection date of Bohol-Leyte under the late Bohol governor Rico Aumentado, not a single MW of new power source has been added to Bohol for almost a decade.
It was also gathered from Djords Javier, one of the parties who went with President Rodrigo Duterte to China recently, that both the Cebu-Bohol Friendship bridge and the Leyte-Bohol bridge drew enthusiastic Chinese business interest.
A week ago, the Chinese did an ocular inspection in Leyte for that purpose. This is in line with the RDC-approved “One Visayas” development concept.
Governor Edgar Chatto told the Chronicle last week that the “One Visyas ” concept is taking off faster than other regions because of the “unity of the various provincial leaderships.”.
Sources said the Ilocos region has strong, independent political families that may not see eye to eye in terms of regional development,as examples, like the Marcoses, Keons, Dys, Singsons, Farinas and the Ortegas.