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San Miguel vows to stop building new coal plants

San Miguel Corp. said over the weekend unit SMC Global Power Holdings Corp. will avoid building new coal power plants and focus on more renewables in its power portfolio.

“We’re executing on our plans to move away from building new coal facilities, despite new technologies that make them cleaner. It’s a company direction that is in line with all the major sustainability initiatives we have undertaken these past couple of years,” SMC president Ramon Ang said in a statement.

SMCGP is adding more renewables in its power portfolio using technologies to significantly cut carbon footprint while addressing the country’s need for reliable and affordable power.

“SMC has always maintained a diverse power portfolio utilizing renewables and traditional, but proven technologies. This is to ensure that as we transition to cleaner sources, we will not undermine our commitment to meet the growing demand for affordable and reliable energy,” Ang said.

The company dropped plans to put up three new clean coal power plants in Quezon and Cebu with a capacity of 1,500 MW in favor of new facilities that utilizes cleaner, renewable energy sources.

SMCGP also started its transition to cleaner energy with the construction of 31 battery energy storage system facilities all over the country.

The BESS facilities will have a total capacity of 1,000 MW and are set for completion between this year and 2022.

Ang said the BESS projects represent SMC’s full-scale solution to fix power quality issues in the grid.

He said these would allow for the integration of over 3,000 MW of intermittent renewable power sources to the grid.

Ang said SMC, through SMCGP, would put up solar plants in combination with battery storage facilities at 10 locations throughout the country. These will be operational by 2023.

SMC is also gearing up to build a 1,300-MW liquified natural gas combined cycle plant in Batangas City, which will provide clean and stable power to Manila Electric Co. over the next 20 years, beginning 2024.

The facility will provide power at a very competitive price, cheaper than what modern coal plants in the country offer.

SMC announced plans to build small-scale LNG plants in 8 to 10 islands in the Visayas and Mindanao to boost rural electrification. It also lined up several hydroelectric power plants in Luzon.

“For several years now, we have been articulating our plans to move into cleaner and renewable power, and we would like to report to the public that now, these plans have not only taken shape but we have actually started implementing them,” said Ang.

“Apart from making sure to invest in key infrastructure projects that will support our economic recovery from the pandemic, we have also made sure that we stay true to our larger sustainability goals by continuing to integrate sustainability into our strategic plans,” Ang said.

SMC discontinued in 2017 its plastic bottled water business, effectively removing some 32 million plastic bottles a year, which would have ended up in landfills or bodies of water.

SMC also committed to reduce the total water consumption across the entire San Miguel group of companies by half.

“All these efforts including our ongoing initiatives to clean up our rivers are geared towards helping ensure that our post-pandemic recovery is better, greener and sustainable,” Ang said.

Topics: San Miguel Corporation , SMC Global Power Holdings Corp , Ramon Ang
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