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Cebu must ensure long-term power supply as economy grows

By: Carl Lorenciana - CDN Digital Copy Editor | June 15,2024 - 10:08 AM

cebu power

Captivating view of Cebu skyline

CEBU, Philippines — As the economy of Cebu continues to expand, ensuring its long-term power situation highly becomes more crucial as demand for electricity continually increases moving forward, an industry leader said.

“The Visayas grid recently encountered an unprecedented surge in demand, reaching a record-high of 2,525 MW, signaling a clear and significant upward trend in electricity consumption,” Ronaldo Ramos, chief operating officer for operated assets of the AboitizPower’s Thermal Business Group, told businessmen during a forum on Friday, June 14, organized by the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry as part of the celebration of Cebu Business Month 2024.

The official in his presentation confirmed a Department of Energy report showing a supply-demand imbalance in the Visayas.

“Businesses in Cebu have reported an average of 3-4 power outages per week, each lasting between 1 to 2 hours,” Ramos said.

cebu power

Ronaldo Ramos, chief operating officer for operated assets of the AboitizPower’s Thermal Business Group, said Cebu’s unprecedented economic growth has meant a steady rise in power consumption over the years. | Photo by Carl Lorenciana

He noted that economic expansion is at risk due to a precarious power supply. Frequent red and yellow alerts recently indicate an overloaded power system struggling to meet increasing demand.

These warnings disrupt business operations, reduce industrial output, and threaten the investment climate.


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Earlier, Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia emphasized the urgency of addressing this issue, saying that “We cannot be relying mainly on others for our power. We need to be self-sufficient, not in 2027 but now.”

Addressing these power supply challenges is crucial for ensuring that Cebu Province and the Central Visayas region as a whole can sustain their economic growth potential. This is vital for contributing to the broader economic goals of the Philippines.

“Our diverse energy portfolio affirms our belief that there is no one-size-fits-all solution, nor does any single organization hold all the answers and solutions. Together, we possess the power to shape a future where we can all proudly say we played a part in it,” Ramos said.

Central Visayas registered the fastest-growing economy among the Philippines’ 17 regions in 2023, with an impressive cumulative growth rate of 7.3 percent.


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Leading this surge is Cebu and its economic hubs in Metro Cebu, including Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu, and Cebu City. This growth positions the Philippines as Southeast Asia’s fastest-growing economy.

Cebu’s rapid development is driven by its strategic location, robust infrastructure, thriving tourism industry, and burgeoning business process outsourcing or BPO sector. This growth significantly contributes to the national GDP, creating jobs, attracting foreign investment, and promoting regional prosperity.

Aboitiz Power Corp. currently operates a 340-megawatt (MW) Therma Visayas Inc. (TVI) coal plant in Toledo City, western Cebu.

To address the persistent need for power, the company is looking to expand the capacity this facility by 150 MW, with its construction expected to start next year once it gets the government’s nod.

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TAGS: Cebu, economy, power

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