DMCI Power to explore hybrid systems to power off-grid areas

DMCI Power Corp. (DPC), the power generation arm of DMCI Holdings, Inc., is looking at the use of hybrid systems to help reduce fuel importation, a company official said last week.

“In a recent discussion initiated by the [Department of Energy’s] Renewable Energy Management Bureau, the agency and DPC agreed to explore the possibility of using hybrid fuel (biomass and coal) in Masbate,” Antonino E. Gatdula, Jr., president of DPC, said in an e-mail.

Mr. Gatdula said that if its plan is proven effective, the company will replicate the planned hybrid system in its other service areas.

Based on DPC’s website, the company operates in three provinces, namely: Masbate, Palawan, and Mindoro. It also ventured into power generation in the province of Sultan Kudarat in 2016.

On Aug. 10, Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla said at a Senate energy committee hearing that his department was looking into hybrid systems as a long-term solution to address the country’s dependence on imported fuel.

Apart from DPC’s plan to explore hybrid fuel for Masbate, the company is also planning to develop a multi-technology power plant complex in the province.

Mr. Gatdula said the complex would use solar and diesel power to support the initiative for hybrid systems.

He said DPC uses indigenous fuel to operate its off-grid thermal power plant on the island of Masbate, which he claims to “lower” the universal charge for missionary electrification, a subsidy being paid by consumers.

“The savings translate to roughly P50 million to P70 million per month, depending on the price movement of petroleum and petroleum-based fuels in the world market,” he added. — Ashley Erika O. Jose

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