Davao Power Plant (Therma South)

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Davao Thermal Power Plant is a proposed coal-fired power plant in Davao City and Davao del Sur in the Philippines. Currently the project involves a 300-megawatt (MW) Phase I consisting of two 150 MW units. The plant is under construction.[1]


The aerial photo below shows the location of the proposed Davao Power Plant according to Wikimapia.[2]

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Background on Plant

The proponent of the power station is Therma South, a subsidiary of listed AboitizPower Corporation. The proposed power station, while supported by the local government and industry associations, is opposed by a coalition of residents, church groups and environmentalists.

In October 2013 it was reported that the plant was 50% completed, and scheduled to go online in 2015.[3]

In August 2013, the Philippines Department of Energy (DOE) described the status of Phase I of the expansion as follows:[4]

Secured right to land; Secured permits for site development works; Self-funded with on-going negotiation with financial institutions; various permits obtained; 235 MW already contracted to off-takers;Power Sales Agreement for 164MW between Therma South, Inc. and Davao Light & Power Company is 100MW (DLPC), Cotabato Light & Power Company is 5MW (CLPC), Agusan del Sur is 10MW (ASELCO), Surigao del Sur II is 5MW (SURSECO II), Davao Oriental EC is 5MW (DORECO), Misamis Occidental I is 3MW (MOELCI I), Cotabato EC is 8MW (COTELCO), Sultan Kudarat EC is 8MW (SUKELCO), Zamboanga del Norte is 5MW (ZANECO), Bukidnon 2 EC is 2MW (BUSECO), Surigao del Sur I is 3MW (SURSECO I), Surigao del Norte is 5MW (SURNECO), and Zamboanga del Sur I is 5MW (ZAMSURECO); EPC contract awarded to Black and Veatch on June 2012; Secured SEC, BIR, BOC, BOI, ECC permits; LGU/Sangguniang Panlalawigan Davao City Reclassification already granted and issued on 12 Dec. 2011; On-going site preparation works since 1st quarter of 2012; Site development works by 3rd Qtr. of 2012; Target testing and commissioning is on November 2014; Target commercial

Lobby for new station to meet power demand

Aboitiz Power, industry groups and the government have argued that a new coal-fired power station is required to meet growing demand for power and as a diversification strategy to help drought proof a grid heavily reliant on hydropower. The 982.1-megawatt Agus-Pulangi hydropower station currently supplies 55 percent of Mindanao's power but, the Sun-Star Manila reports, the project's generating capacity drops in summer due to lower water levels in Lanao Lake. Compounding this is the risk of drought. In 2010, a prolonged drought resulted in little generating capacity and half-day blackouts in some areas.[5]

The forecast supply gap may reach 480 megawatts by 2014, according to the government. Aboitiz Power is already scheduled to commence work on a series of small hydro schemes for completion in late 2012. (The Tudaya 1 and Tudaya 2 projects will have a combined output of 13.6 megawatts. Two other hydro projects, the Sita project and the Simod project will have a combined output of 30 megawatts.[5]

First vice president for Mindanao Affairs Aboitiz Power, Manuel Orig, stated that the proposed power station would employ 1,000 people during construction and 200 when operating. "We guarantee that the proposed power plant will not cause harmful effects on the water supply, the health of the communities and the environment," Orig said.[5]

Public Opposition

In March 2011, residents of Binugao village in the Toril district asked the city government to reject the proposal of Aboitiz Corp. to put a coal-fired power plant in the village. In early March, the city council approved on first reading the proposed project and forwarded it to the committee on energy, the committee on environment, the committee on health, and the committee on trade and commerce. The four committees were tasked to conduct public consultations on the proposal. Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has been very vocal about his endorsement of the proposed 300-megawatt coal-fired power plant, even before the conduct of any study. His daughter, Mayor Sara Duterte, said she was personally opposed to the project although she would go with the decision of the people.[6]

Dr. Jean Lindo, one of the convenors of the No to Coal Davao, said the Aboitiz’s statement that the project would not pollute the environment was “a total statement of fallacy and deception” and “There is no such thing as clean coal." A petition submitted to the city council by those opposing the project states that 10 coal-fired power plants have been set up all over the country. They said "We, as Filipinos and energy consumers, have a right to demand for clean, renewable and affordable sources of energy without compromising our right to a healthful environment and genuine development,” the petition said.[6]


In a letter Joseph Trillana Gonzales confimed that the company plans to raise "an additional estimated P51 billion from lenders to fund the Subic and Davao coal projects which are projected to start within the year. This amount assumes the construction of a 600 MW Subic coal plant, instead of a 300 MW coal plant."[7]

Coal Source

In 2011, Aboitiz Power planned to source coal from Indonesia and from the Philippine Semirara Mining Corp. for the plants.[8]

Groups campaigning against the proposed power station

Project Details

  • Sponsor: AboitizPower[9]
  • Location: Binugao in Toril, Davao City, the Philippines
  • Coordinates: 6.964444, 125.479722 (exact)[10]
  • Status: Construction[11]
  • Gross Capacity: 300 MW (2 x 150 MW)
  • Type: Circulating fluidized bed[1]
  • Projected in service: Unit 1: October 2015; Unit 2: March 2016
  • Coal Type:
  • Coal Source:
  • Source of financing:

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Davao Power Plant" Leighton Holdings, accessed December 9, 2013.
  2. "Davao Power Plant (Davao City)" Wikimapia, accessed December 17, 2013.
  3. "Mindanao’s largest coal-fired power plant ‘on track to operate in 2015,’" Minda News, October 6 2013.
  4. Energy Situationer: 2013-Private-Sector-Initiated-Power-Projects-Mindanao, Philippines Department of Energy, 12 August 2013
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Virgil Lopez, "Aboitiz offers to build coal plant in Mindanao", Sun-Star Manila, April 30, 2011.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Jeffrey Tupas, "Davao City residents oppose building of coal-fired power plant" Inquirer Politics, March 10, 2011.
  7. Joseph Trillana Gonzales, Aboitiz Power Company Secretary, "Clarification to March 28, 2011 Philippine Daily Inquirer news article", Letter to the Philippine Stock Exchange, March 28, 2011.
  8. Robert Gonzaga, "Environmentalists oppose Subic coal-fired plant" Inquirer News, May 23, 2011.
  9. "Approved Coal Plants in the last two years," Greenpeace, accessed December 2013
  10. "Binugao power station," wikimapia, accessed Dec 2013.
  11. "Mindanao’s largest coal-fired power plant ‘on track to operate in 2015,’" Minda News, October 6 2013.

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