Davao Therma South power station

From Global Energy Monitor

Davao power station or Therma South power station is a 300-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Davao del Sur Province, Philippines.


The map below shows the plant, in Binugao Barangay, Toril Subdistrict, Davao City, Davao del Sur Province.[1]

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Background on plant

Units 1-2

Davao power station is a coal-fired power plant under development in Davao del Sur in the Philippines. The 300-megawatt (MW) Phase I, consisting of two 150 MW units, is under construction.[2] The proponent of the power station is Therma South, a subsidiary of listed AboitizPower Corporation. Construction is being managed by Black & Veatch.[3][4]

Unit 1 is planned for operation in June 2015. Unit 2 was originally planned for mid-2015 but was extended to February 2016. Aboitz claimed a blackout caused damage to Unit 2, causing the delay, but the Department of Energy said the blackout was not the reason for the damage.[5]

Full commercial operation of unit 1 (150 MW) was reported on September 18, 2015. [6] Unit 2 (150 MW) began commercial operations on February 2, 2016.[7]

Units 3-4

In March 2014, the Davao City Council approved Phase II of the plant, two additional 172-MW coal-fired units, which would apparently expand total capacity to 645 MW. Phase II would go online in 2017-18.[8] Aboitiz announced in November 2014 that it was moving ahead with Unit 3, expecting to receive the notice to proceed by March 2015.[9]

However, as of November 2018 there has been no news on the units since the announcement, and they appear to have been cancelled.

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.[10]

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.[10]

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.[10]

Public opposition

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 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.[11]

Dr. Jean Lindo, one of the convenors of the No to Coal Davao, said 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.[11]


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."[12]

In October 2013, a financing agreement for units 1 and 2 was closed. BDO Unibank provided a US$555 million loan.[13]

Coal source

In 2011, Aboitiz Power planned to source coal from Indonesia and from the Philippine Semirara Mining Corp. for the plants.[14]

Groups campaigning against the proposed power station

Project details

  • Sponsor: AboitizPower[15]
  • Location: Binugao Barangay, Davao City, Davao del Sur Province, Philippines
  • Coordinates: 6.964444, 125.479722 (exact)[16]
  • Status: Operating (Unit 1); Operating (Unit 2); Cancelled (Units 3-4)
  • Gross Capacity: 645 MW (Units 1 & 2: 150 MW; Units 3 & 4: 172 MW)
  • Type: Circulating fluidized bed[2]
  • Projected in service: September 2015 (Unit 1), February 2016 (Unit 2)
  • Coal Type: Subbituminous
  • Coal Source:
  • Source of financing: Units 1 and 2: US$555 million in debt from BDO Unibank[13]

Articles and resources


  1. "Davao Power Plant (Davao City)" Wikimapia, accessed December 17, 2013.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Davao Power Plant" Leighton Holdings, accessed December 9, 2013.
  3. Aboitiz Power Corporation: Therma South Coal-fired Power Project, Black & Veatch website, accessed Feb. 2015.
  4. "Mindanao’s largest coal-fired power plant ‘on track to operate in 2015,’" Minda News, October 6 2013.
  5. "Mindanao blackout not cause of damage to Aboitiz plant," Rappler, May 17, 2015
  6. "Coal plant in Davao in full operation starting today," Sun Star, September 17, 2015
  7. "AboitizPower declares full commercial operations of Davao baseload power plant," AboitizPower, February 3, 2016
  8. Gatdula, Donnabelle. Davao City council okays Aboitiz coal plant project. Philippine Star, 25 Mar. 2014.
  9. Flores, Alena Mae. Aboitiz expands 2 power projects. Manila Standard Today, 28 Nov. 2014.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Virgil Lopez, "Aboitiz offers to build coal plant in Mindanao", Sun-Star Manila, April 30, 2011.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Jeffrey Tupas, "Davao City residents oppose building of coal-fired power plant" Inquirer Politics, March 10, 2011.
  12. 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.
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Preview of Therma South Davao Coal Fired Power Project (300MW) | Transaction | IJGlobal". ijglobal.com. Retrieved 2020-11-24.
  14. Robert Gonzaga, "Environmentalists oppose Subic coal-fired plant" Inquirer News, May 23, 2011.
  15. "Approved Coal Plants in the last two years," Greenpeace, accessed December 2013
  16. "Binugao power station," wikimapia, accessed Dec 2013.

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External resources

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