What is coal?

Coal is a combustible, sedimentary, organic rock formed from vegetation, which has been consolidated between other rock strata to form coal seams, and altered by the combined effects of microbial action, pressure and heat over a considerable time period.

Why use coal for electricity generation?

Coal is one of the most abundant and affordable natural fossil fuels. It plays a major part in supplying the world’s power demand, thus, underscoring global economic and social development. It underpins nearly all key industrial economies including the United States, Australia, Japan and Germany.

Where does the power plant get its coal?

SPI uses coal that is mined in Indonesia and transported to Mindanao by self unloading handymax-size vessel. The coal is of high quality and fully meets the efficiency and environmental requirements as designed for the power plant.

Where does the power plant draw water for its operations?

Water used in the power plant is drawn from the nearby Tagoloan river in Misamis Oriental and pumped via an underground pipeline to the water treatment facility inside the power plant.

Is the water level of the Tagoloan river affected by the water consumption of the power plant?

There is no effect on the seasonal river water level because the volume of water extracted is relatively low and represents only a fraction of the volume flow rate of the river. Water consumption is regulated by the National Water Resources Board (NWRB).

How is power generated from coal?

a. Fuel Delivery

Coal is unloaded via a special purpose jetty and stockpiled in a specially prepared coal storage area at the plant. Coal is pulverized to fines and blown together with a pre-heated combustion air to the boiler furnace where it is combusted under controlled conditions to minimize emissions in the flue-gas.

b. Water for Steam Generation

At the water treatment plant, the water is filtered and stored in a water storage tank. The water is further treated such that minerals are removed. The de-mineralized water is then fed as boiler feed water.

The heat generated through combustion is transferred via the boiler heating surfaces to the feed water for conversion to steam. With continuous heating at high temperature, the steam is pressurized. The live steam is directed by high pressure piping to the steam turbine.

c. Electric Power Generation

The high-pressure steam releases its energy through expansion across the blades of the turbine causing these to rotate a turbine rotor. The rotor is directly coupled to the generator which through revolution generates electricity.

d. Electricity Distribution

Generated electricity from the unit transformers is conveyed through a special purpose inter-connector to the Mindanao grid substation in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental. From there, the electricity is distributed through a 138kV high voltage grid to the electric power cooperatives and franchise distributors and finally to the power consumers.

What environmental challenges are there that affect the use of coal in electricity generation?

Most human activities and all forms of energy, including renewable energy, have environmental consequences and raise their own environmental issues. Coal is not exempt from having issues and how these may affect the environment. The Mindanao Power Plant, however, uses suitable and well-proven technologies that can mitigate coal combustion’s impact to the environment.

What measures has SPI taken to address the concerns regarding pollution?

The power plant is equipped with modern technology designed to minimize, emissions in the process of power generation. To ensure the integrity of the ecological systems within its sphere of operations, SPI has initiated a sound environmental conservation program that is geared towards improving the general welfare of its host communities and fulfilling its obligations to the environment.

How are emissions controlled during the power generation process?

Emissions are controlled in the flue gas by air cleaning devices such as flue-gas desulfurization (to neutralize sulphur) nitrogen dioxide reduction (by using low-NOX burner) and fly-ash removal (using bag filters). Solid by-products such as bottom ash and fly ash/gypsum, once collected, are stored in a specially prepared and water-tight ash disposal area located within the power plant site.

What are the measures taken to prevent dust in the air?

Coal dust suppression from stockpiles is maintained by regular water spraying. Moreover, the active coal stockpiles are covered and all conveyor lines enclosed to prevent coal dust dispersal. The receiving hoppers at the jetty are also equipped with water sprays for dust suppression.

Does run-off water from the plant affect the groundwater or deepwells?

There is no run-off to the ground water. The ash disposal area is lined with impermeable layers which direct rainwater to drainage channels for filtering and treatment.

How can water contamination be prevented when unloading coal from the vessels?

The coal hoppers at the jetty are equipped with water sprays which provide a water film during release of coal from enclosed grabs into the hoppers. Coal dusts are caught by the film and washed to the hoppers. The hoppers are equipped with guide vanes to collect any coal falling from the grabs.

What are the benefits that the power plant provides?

SPI goes far beyond providing efficient and reliable electric power to Mindanao.


Apart from sustaining responsible business operations and adhering to the ethical standards of safety, environment, transparency and accountability, SPI is actively engaged in numerous social development programs aimed at helping address a wide array of community concerns.


For a decade now, SPI invested material time, resources and expertise in helping secure a much brighter and prosperous communities where it is part of.


On an ongoing basis, SPI is collaborating with many different stakeholders that allow a multi-stakeholder approach on poverty alleviation and environmental conservation.


SPI’s commitment to help bring about development in its host communities is manifested through its various Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs.

What are the effects of the Power Plant’s discharges on Macajalar Bay and its marine resources?

There is no discernible long-term effect on the marine life of the Macajalar Bay. SPI conducts regular marine gene surveys and is establishing trends and statistics. The off-shore structures that were established in fact serves as marine habitats, thus creating new marine environments.

What other actions has SPI implemented to protect the environment?

SPI has taken steps in developing and implementing a comprehensive environmental conservation program within its 25-year plant operation period.

a. Forest Development Program

SPI, together with E. Pelaez Ranch, Inc.(EPRI) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), is undertaking a 1,200-hectare Mapawa Reforestation Project in Cugman, Cagayan de Oro City. The goal is to establish a 500-hectare plantation forest, maintain and protect another 500-hectare tree plantation, and conduct Timber Stand Improvement (TSI) on an existing 200-hectare natural forest. The project is considered as one of the pioneering private-led carbon sink initiatives in Mindanao.

b. Urban Forestry Program

In its host communities in Tagoloan and Villanueva, about 1,000-hectare urban forestry project is also being implemented. A plant nursery has been established to produce the seedlings required to reforest the area within the 25-year plant operation period.

c. Coastal Marine Resource Development Program

A comprehensive program to develop and protect the marine resources in Macajalar Bay is underway. Program component includes mangrove development and rehabilitation coastal resource protection advocacies and ecological solid waste management.

d. Multi-Partite Monitoring Team (MMT)

A Multi-Partite Monitoring Team (MMT) was organized to oversee project compliance with the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC), the Environmental Management Plan (EMP) and all applicable environmental rules and regulations.

The MMT is composed of representatives from SPI, the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) of DENR, representatives from the concerned provincial, municipal and barangay governments, accredited Non-Government organizations (NGOs), Peoples Organizations (POs), the National Power Corporation (NPC) and the PHIVIDEC Industrial Authority.

e. Environmental Transparency

The power plant is equipped with a Continuous Emission Monitoring System or CEMS that is hooked directly online with the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB). The CEMS provides computer-generated data indicating the power plant’s conformity with local and international air quality standards.

Furthermore, ambient monitoring on the quality of air, noise levels, groundwater and seawater within the vicinity of the power plant is periodically conducted.

f. Information and Education Program

SPI is implementing a comprehensive Information, Education and Communication (IEC) Program to inform communities about the power plant, its safety features and environmental protection and community development programs. The IEC program aims to develop a sense of community stakeholdership and to ensure wider community participation in efforts geared towards the attainment of sustainable development.