The Energy Department approved the request of SMC Global Power Corp., a unit of San Miguel Corp., to conduct a grid impact study on two proposed coal-fired power plants with a combined capacity of 928 megawatts.
The department issued the clearance to SMC Global last month for the 600-MW plant in Barangay Ibabang Polo, Pagbilao, Quezon, and a 328-MW station in Barangay Danong, Santa Cruz, Davao del Sur.
San Miguel, the country’s largest power company, has been aggressively looking at power projects to help address the country’s growing enery requirements.
San Miguel in June announced in June that it was putting up a coal-fired power plant in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
The company signed an agreement with the ARMM, which is composed of the provinces of Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi to build a power plant to help provide long-term solutions to Mindanao’s power crisis.
San Miguel committed to build the power plant that will serve the entire ARMM region, which has an estimated 573,446 households, over the next two years. Only 30 percent of households in the region have electricity. Brownouts, especially during the dry months, are prevalent.
San Miguel president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang earlier said instability and the lack of infrastructure and stable power supply had made investors wary on the region. He said hoped San Miguel’s vote of confidence in the war-torn region would create much-needed jobs and entrepreneur opportunities, provide a major economic boost to ARMM and ease worries over perceived investment risks.
San Miguel said its investment in ARMM was in line with its strategy to locate facilities and production centers outside urban centers, creating strong “second-tier cities,” generating jobs and rebalancing the national economy by income and growth dispersal.
The company is an active participant in the economic development of Mindanao. Ang earlier said San Miguel was looking at putting up three power plants with a capacity of 300 megawatts in the company’s planned industrial estate projects in Mindanao.
Each industrial estate development covers about 2,000 hectares. The company has already bared plans for an industrial estate in Davao del Sur province.
“We’re doing those projects in Davao. We want to help address power shortage in Mindanao. We’re putting up industrial estates. We want to create lots of job opportunities for the people of Mindanao,” Ang said.
“We have so many projects in Mindanao. We’re putting up a food complex in Phividec. We will also put up power plants in the industrial estates. We want to put up at least three industrial estates in Mindanao where businesses can locate,” he said .
He said San Miguel planned to put up an initial 300-MW power plant in each industrial estate in Mindanao. Each power plant cost $2 million per MW, or $1.8 billion.