Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV), the public holding firm of the Aboitiz group invested in banking and financial services, power, among others, pushed for the adoption of an electricity market in Mindanao to help bring down commodities cost in the strategically important island.
AEV Mindanao adviser Arturo Milan, also former president of AboitizPower subsidiary Davao Light and Power Co, pushed the idea at the recently concluded Mindanao Business Summit sponsored by the European Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines (ECCP).
He told the gathered businessmen and decision makers that a Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) in Mindanao encourages competition in the generation space and in this manner lower electricity prices as the market does in Luzon island.
“For us to be able to take advantage of our excess supply and hopefully get lower rates on electricity, we need this WESM in Mindanao,” Milan said.
He noted that while Mindanao has excess electricity of more or less 1,000 megawatts, electricity costs were seen to increase due to the volatility in fuel costs driven by the Russia-Ukraine conflict and swings in the value of the local currency versus the US dollar.
Milan also noted the need to look at the demand-side of power generation, particularly energy efficiency audits under the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act or Republic Act 11285 that rewards energy efficient power programs with incentives.
The Mindanao adviser also advocated for the rehabilitation of the hydro facilities in Mindanao, especially the Agus and Pulangi plants to increase their capacity which dropped due to age and usage.
This will increase the stock of renewable energy generation in Mindanao in line with the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Philippine Energy Plan.