Posted by: Wadda F | April 20, 2012


Construction to start next year

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

THE PROPOSED 200-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Concepcion, Iloilo is on track in time for calls to put up additional electricity sources in the light of the acute power shortage in Mindanao.
Iloilo Provincial Administrator Raul N. Banias said he met with top officials of Palm Concepcion Power Corp. (PCPC) in Metro Manila to discuss development status of the proposed coal-fired power plant project.
A former mayor of Concepcion, Banias was instrumental in helping DM Consunji, Inc. (DMCI) Power Corp., the original proponent of the plant, in getting public acceptance for the power plant.
Although the Department of Environment and Natural Resources already issued and environmental compliance certificate (ECC) to the project sometime in 2007, DMCI did not initiate construction after failing to secure power supple agreements with distribution utilities in Western Visayas.
In November 2010, A. Brown Co., Inc. (ABCI), through subsidiaries Palm Thermal Consolidated Holdings Corp. and Panay Consolidated Holdings Corp., bought DMCI Power Corp.’s proposed coal-fired power plant in Concepcion. The new owners then formed subsidiary PCPC to spearhead the future construction and operation of the plant.
ABCI is the investment arm of businessman Walter Brown which is primarily engaged in the business of real estate development but has interests in power, property development and investments in other companies.
In February 2012, A. Brown announced that it has tapped BDO Capital and Investment Corp. to arrange the project debt financing requirements of the Concepcion coal plant.
ABCI said it plans to spend $200 million or roughly P8.5 billion for the project. Phase one of the power plant will be commissioned in the third quarter of 2015 while the second phase will go online in the fourth quarter of 2016.
With this development, the Department of Energy (DOE) has reclassified the Concepcion project from “indicative” to “committed”, which allows the proposed plant to be listed among the projects that will be constructed next year.
The energy department said the PCPC project will be finished in time for the projected power supply shortage in Visayas in 2015 “given the target commissioning of your project are by 3rd quarter of 2015 (phase I) and November 2016 (phase II).”
Banias said PCPC is set to have its financial closure next month aside from evaluating the Engineering Procurement and Conception (EPC) proposals of firms that bid for the construction of the project.
ABCI also tapped Canadian construction firm SNC-Lavalin Inc. for the plant’s engineering works.
SNC-Lavalin is global leader in engineering and construction in the fields of hydroelectric, nuclear and thermal power generation, power system studies, power sector reform, transmission and distribution projects.
SNC-Lavalin will provide detailed engineering that will include review and evaluation of EPC specifications, system’s design parameters and operating features and development of conceptual layouts, among others.

Posted by: Wadda F | May 23, 2010

Metro Pacific acquires major Bacolod hospital

THE holding firm of a leading telecommunication company in the country has obtained control of a major hospital in Negros Occidental province.
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By Francis Allan L. Angelo

ILOILO CITY — The P500-million bulk water supply project of the Metro Iloilo Water District has been shelved for lack of clearance from the Government Procurement Policy Board (GPPB).

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Posted by: Wadda F | March 19, 2010

RDC: WV 3rd fastest growing econ

By Francis Allan L. Angelo 

WESTERN Visayas is one of the fastest growing areas in the Philippines outside Metro Manila, according to the Regional Development Council (RDC). 

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By Francis Allan L. Angelo, Correspondent

ILOILO CITY — A pioneering climate school for farmers has helped make the town of Dumangas the top rice producing municipality in Iloilo province.

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Posted by: Wadda F | January 25, 2010

WV 2nd biggest rice producing region

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) in Western Visayas said the region posted a 4.09% growth in rice production last year.

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Posted by: Wadda F | January 18, 2010

P2.5-B Caticlan airport upgrading kicks off

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

THE upgrading of the Caticlan airport in Malay, Aklan formally kicked off Friday with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo leading the launch of the P2.5-billion project.

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Posted by: Wadda F | December 30, 2009

Iloilo firecracker makers get PS license

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

ILOILO CITY — A group of firecracker manufacturers and traders in Arevalo, Iloilo City has passed the quality standards set by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

The Sto. Niño de Arevalo Multi Purpose Cooperative (SNAMPC), which is composed of more than 300 fireworks manufacturers and 200 dealers and retailers, has been awarded a license to sell and distribute in the market with the PS (Philippine Standard) Mark.

The DTI’s Bureau of Product Standards (BPS) issued PS License no. Q-1276 to the cooperative last week. The PS license covers 18 products _ puetes, tambaliti, roweda, fountain ordinary, fountain special, camara, baby camara, triangulo, zapzap, whistle bomb, and tilinabid, among others.

Danilo Gison, general manager of the cooperative, said the PS license is a dream come true for the cooperative. This license shows that Iloilo-made pyrotechnics are as competitive and safe as those made in Luzon and abroad.

“We are the first group in Region 6 and the second nationwide to be granted a PS License. Now, we can manufacture in the open without fear of being apprehended,” Mr. Gison said. The cooperative has a manufacturing complex in Arevalo district composed of five processing structures and a warehouse.

“Being a PS licensee gives us high morale and more self confidence. We have accepted the challenge of having our products certified by the BPS. We thank all our members and the DTI for their support and trust on us,” he added.

The DTI-6 regional office said the cooperative’s 18 products passed the tests and complied with the requirements of the Philippine National Standards 1220-2, series of 1994 (Fireworks Part II Specification).

These products were tested for compliance with the requirements of PNS 1220-2:1994 on labeling, construction and performance. A local DTI team went to Brgy. Sooc, Arevalo, the cooperative’s manufacturing site, to test the products.

DTI regional director Dominic P. Abad also said the members of the cooperative underwent a series of awareness and orientation seminars on the pyrotechnic industry.

Among the seminars attended by the cooperative members were Forum on Fireworks organized by the DTI, Philippine National Police and the Iloilo City Government; Financing Forum for funding purposes; Awareness Seminar on ISO 9001:2008 with focus on Quality Management System; and Product Audit for compliance with the standards set by the BPS on fireworks.

As a requirement of Republic Act 7183 (An Act Regulating the Sale, Manufacture, Distribution and Use of Firecrackers and other Pyrotechnics Devices), the cooperative’s manufacturing area is located 300 meters away from the nearest residential unit and must be declared by the local government unit as a firecracker zone.

Posted by: Wadda F | December 18, 2009

Bank unit to spend for power transmission line

ILOILO CITY — Metrobank’s power-generating unit is spending more than P300 million for a new transmission line from its new coal-fired power plant to Iloilo province and the rest of Panay island.

The double circuit 138-kilovolt (kV) Sta. Barbara Substation Transmission Line project of Global Business Power Corp. broke ground last week at the Panay Power Corp. compound.

Henry V. Alcalde, manager of Global Business Power’s coal-fired power plant in Iloilo City, said the new transmission line project would cost P346 million.

Mr. Alcalde said the transmission line would complement the 164-MW coal-fired power plant being built inside the PPC compound in La Paz, Iloilo City.

“It will not only facilitate transmission of power from the coal-fired power plant to key clients particularly the electric cooperatives but will also enhance grid reliability for the Cebu-Negros-Panay grid,” Mr. Alcalde said.

The project is expected to be completed on Oct. 10, 2010, in time for the start of operations of the coal plant.

Global Business Power and its subsidiary, Panay Energy Development Corp. which will operate the coal-fired power plant, is negotiating power supply agreements with electric cooperatives in Panay and Guimaras Islands.

The 19-kilometer transmission line project will ensure steady and quality supply of electricity from the coal plant to these cooperatives, Mr. Alcalde said. It exceeds the standards set by the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines, the private utility which runs the country’s power transmission system.

“The 138-kV line is higher than existing lines and will be more or less be immune to weather conditions that usually cut off power supply.

It’s not 100% certain that Mother Nature will not trouble this line but we followed the standards set by [National Grid]. Present transmission lines can stand up to 160 kilometer-per-hour (kph) winds but we doubled the new line’s strength to stand up to 220 kph winds,” he said.

The transmission line is being constructed in coordination with the National Grid. The line will traverse 17 barangays and consist of 112 steel towers.

The line will connect the coal-fired power plant to National Grid’s substation at Brgy. Café in Sta. Barbara, Iloilo.

Mr. Alcalde said the transmission line is also available for other independent power producers in the Visayas grid. After completion of the project, Global Business Power will turn over the operation and maintenance of the transmission line to the National Grid.

As regards recovery of investments, Mr. Alcalde said Global Business Power took the risk of putting up the line in response to the “challenge” of improving power supply in Panay.

“We are not sure but we will try to recover the entire investment in the project. This is the reason why we tried to comply with government procurement rules because when we turn over this facility to [National Grid], I’m sure they will review our procurement procedure,” he added.

The National Grid is supposed to charge entities using the new transmission line at rates approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission. — Francis Allan L. Angelo

Posted by: Wadda F | December 4, 2009

Prospects of stable power lures European BPO to city

‘VOTE’ OF CONFIDENCE Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas (2nd from right) hands the symbolic key to Iloilo City to Duncan H. Cowie (3rd from left), Transcom vice president and regional manager for North America and Asia Pacific, during a press conference at Al Dente Restaurant Wednesday. Witnessing the turnover are Snow Chua, executive assistant to the City Mayor (extreme right), Chris Mason, Transcom vice president for implementation and solutions and Kristine Monsale of Transcom Iloilo City. (FAA photo)

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

POWER supply is one of the major reasons why Transcom, a European business processes outsourcing (BPO) firm, decided to open shop in Iloilo City.

Duncan H. Cowie, Transcom vice president and regional manager for North America and Asia Pacific, said electricity was a key factor in their decision to locate their fifth Philippine site in Iloilo City.

“I consider power as a critical element of our business. And with power you have networks and the other elements that supply your infrastructure. I’m very excited that Iloilo has a new power plant coming on soon. Did that (power plant) make a difference in our decision? Absolutely. It’s very important to us. It’s so important to have security of supply because my clients don’t really mind what’s happening where we are. They only want to know we keep working,” Cowie said.

Global Business Power Corp. (GBPC) is putting up a 164-megawatt coal-fired power plant at Brgy. Ingore, LaPaz, Iloilo City to address the power shortage not only in the city but in Western Visayas as well.

The power plant, which is expected to go online next year, will be operated by the Panay Energy Development Corp. under the GBPC umbrella and supply electricity to Region 6.

Cowie said they will initially employ more than 800 Ilonggos when they open next month.

“We plan to increase that capacity by 50% in the next six months. By March 2010, we expect to employ around 1,500 people and will increase to 2,000 by end of next year,” Cowie said.

Transcom will be located at the Amigo Plaza Mall on Iznart Street in downtown Iloilo City. The building has been accredited by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority to host BPO firms.

Cowie said the manpower potentials attracted Transcom to locate its fifth center in Iloilo City after Metro Manila and Bacolod City.

“We are not attracted by facilities or regions. We’re attracted by the people, the individuals,” Cowie said.

Cowie said they began hiring and training employees more than a month ago.

Chris Mason, Transcom vice president for implementation and solutions, said they were did not meet any difficulty in hiring employees, particularly for the management level posts.

Mason said the hiring rate in Metro Manila is 20-25% but in Iloilo it ranges from 40-45%.

“Your hiring rate in Iloilo is double the national rate which speaks a lot of your manpower potentials here. Hiring management level officers is usually the hardest process but here in Iloilo, we did not find it hard to get the people we need. It’s primarily because of the numerous universities in Iloilo,” Mason said.

As regards Transcom expansion, Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas said he has been talking with several businessmen who are interested in putting up buildings for new and expanding BPO firms.

Cowie said North America and Asia Pacific are the fastest growing areas among Transcom’s five regional operation areas at 50% annually.

“Transcom’s global growth is around 20%. In North America and Asia, the fastest growing country is the Philippines. Our growth rate in Asia is more than 100% yearly. Two years ago, we only had 800 employees in the Philippines. This year, we already have more than 6,000 employees,” Cowie said.

Transcom’s main business areas are customer care, sales and support, credit management and additional customer related services. It also provides CRM consulting, translation and interpretation, and legal services. Its expertise is in a wide range of industry sectors including telecommunications, the financial industry, travel & leisure, utilities and retail/consumer goods. It has 75 sites in 29 countries worldwide.

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