Semirara Mining and Power Corp. is confident of starting the construction of a 700-megawatt coal plant in Calaca, Batangas within the year.
“Yes, I believe that President [Duterte] will push infra,” Semirara Mining chairman Isidro Consunji said.
Consunji said the project had received an environmental compliance certificate and was approval of a power supply agreement and “right of way transmission line.”
Semirara Mining, a unit of DMCI Holdings Inc. and Meralco PowerGen Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Manila Electric Co., have formed a joint venture to build the power plant. The project company for the coal power plant is St. Raphael Power Generation Corp.
Consunji earlier said Semirara Mining and Meralco PowerGen would equally take a 40-percent equity stake in the project. He said Marubeni Corp. of Japan could take a 20 percent interest.
“Meralco will buy the output,” Consunji said. Meralco, the country’s biggest power distributor, has a pending application with the Energy Regulatory Commission to purchase of up to 400 MW of electrical output from the St. Rafael power plant.
The proposed power plant is the second phase of the planned expansion of the Calaca coal-fired plant facility.
Semirara Mining’s board approved the second phase of the expansion in 2014 consisting two units of 350 MW each, using pulverized coal technology.
The existing Calaca facility consists of two 300-MW generating units designed to utilize local coal from Semirara.
DMCI bought the Calaca plant from the government in July 2009 with a bid of $361.7 million.
The company pursued the first phase expansion of the 300-MW capacity, which started full commercial operations last year.
The project received an indirect endorsement from President Rodrigo Duterte, who said the Philippines would continue to use coal for power generation as long as the plants use new technologies to minimize emissions.
“But for as long as the most viable fuel is coal and cheapest so that the power can also be delivered the energy to the people at a much lower price, then we’ll have no other alternative except to upgrade the technology to its fullest―to limit,” Duterte said during a visit to Sarangani for the groundbreaking of the coal plant of Alsons Consolidated Resources Corp.
“At this time, whoever is the president of the Philippines would always contend with coal. There’s so much coal still that can be utilized by civilization for the next 50 to 70 years. And to be worrying about pollution, well, we just have to come to terms with it that in our time, in our generation, it is really what it is. There is nothing you can do about it,” Duterte said.
The president said the use of coal for power continued to face challenges.
“And as a matter of fact, the new one is really the movement to limit or do away with coal whether liquidized or you burn it solid. But the problem is, there is no alternative in the price, money,” Duterte said.