Meralco readies 3 new power plants

Meralco PowerGen Corp., a unit of Manila Electric Co., is set to start next year the construction of three coal-fired power plants with a combined capacity of up to 2,255  megawatts, company officials said over the weekend.

The projects include the 455-MW plant of San Buenaventura Power Ltd. in Quezon province, 600 MW by Redondo Peninsula Energy Inc. in Subic and 1,200-by MW Atimonan One Energy also in Quezon.

“Participation in power generation is highly strategic for Meralco. Without any generating capacity, Meralco would effectively be only a price-taker and a supply-taker. We look forward to building a portfolio of highly fuel efficient, highly reliable power generating facilities of up to 3,000 MW in joint venture with strategic partners,” Meralco president Oscar Reyes said.

The San Buenaventura coal project is a joint venture between Meralco PowerGen and New Growth B.V., a unit of The Electricity Generating Public Co. Ltd. of Thailand.

San Buenaventura, in which MGen has a significant interest, has started work on plant site preparation before proceeding to a financial closing and the actual construction job.

The supercritical coal-fired power plant in Mauban, Quezon, is expected to begin commercial operations by the first half of 2019, with construction slated in the first half of next year.

“We are doing site preparation [in San Buenventura] and by the first half we will turn over to the EPC [engineering, procurement and construction] contractor,” Meralco senior vice president Angelito Lantin said.

Meralco PowerGen also has a majority stake in RP Energy, the developer-owner of the 600-MW circulating fluidized bed coal-fired power plant in Subic, Zambales.

Lantin said RP Energy was in talks with National Grid Corp. of the Philippines for the transmission line requirements of the power plant.

RP Energy has not made a final decision whether to construct the entire 600-MW capacity of reduce it to 300 MW due to the transmission line constraints.

RP Energy is also pursuing the completion of preliminary works before starting with the construction of the power plant.

It expects to finalize the terms of the project financing agreement by the first quarter of 2016 with construction to follow. Projection completion is expected in 2019.

RP Energy is a joint venture among Meralco PowerGen, Therma Luzon, Inc., a subsidiary of the Aboitiz Power Corp., and Taiwan Cogeneration International Corp.–Philippine Branch Office.

Lantin said the government last month issued the environmental compliance certificate of the 1,200-MW coal fired power plant of Atimonan One, also majority controlled by Meralco PowerGen.

He said the EPC tender processes started with responses expected by end of 2015.

Meralco PowerGen will select the preferred EPC contractor for the Atimonan project by mid 2016.

“Early works target to start early 2016 such as site access road and resettlement site construction. Target completion of unit 1 is late 2020,” he said.

Topics: meralco
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