Briefing paper: Mindanao at an energy crossroads

Publication - November 19, 2010
Mindanao, in southern Philippines, is the country’s second largest island group, occupying one-third of the country’s total land area. The region depends largely on agriculture and supplies 40% of the country’s food.

Mindanao is also known for its rich mineral and metal deposits. However, it is currently the least developed region in the country, wracked by poverty and conflict.


The Philippine government is keen to develop Mindanao’s energy infrastructure as part of the island’s development plan. Mindanao relies mainly on hydropower, which particularly this year, posed problems due to lack of water coupled with increasing demand in power supply.

According to the Power Development Program of the Department of Energy (DOE), Mindanao needs an additional capacity of 850 MW to be installed for the period 2006-2014. The Mindanao electricity grid currently has an installed capacity of approximately 1,929 MW, of which almost 1,000 MW is hydro, 232 MW is coal, about 100 MW is geothermal, and the balance is oil/diesel fired.

At present there is only one coal fired power plant in Mindanao with a capacity of 232 MW. The plant became operational in 2006 and is located in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental. But plans to build more coal plants in Mindanao are underway.

Mindanao