November 26, 2019 at 07:35 pm
Alena Mae S. Flores
New Taipei City―The Philippines can take the lead from Taiwan and move towards high-efficiency, low-emission technologies for coal projects such as ultra-supercritical boiler, according to a power industry executive.
“We have said that we have pioneered the utilization of HELE in the Philippines and that I think we are in the right direction because no less than Taiwan has the technology to power almost 40 percent of their country’s power requirement,” Meralco PowerGen Corp. vice president for external affairs Reynalita Santana said.
HELE is the term used by the international coal industry to refer to coal-fired power plants that utilize supercritical and ultra-supercritical technologies, which are more advanced than the existing sub-critical coal plants employed by existing coal plants in the Philippines.
The Philippines currently has no ultra-supercritical power plant, while Taiwan has more than 20 plants of such kind, including the 2,400-megawatt Linkou power plant here.
The Philippines has a supercritical power plant―the 455-MW San Buenaventura power project of Meralco PowerGen, the power generation arm of Manila Electric Co. and EGCO Group of Thailand which started commercial operations in September.
Meralco PowerGen plans to build the country’s first ultra-supercritical coal plant in Atimonan, Quezon but the project is being opposed by environmentalists.
Taiwan already shifted to HELE technologies and decommissioned some of its low-efficiency coal plants.
New units at the Linkou coal plant reduced carbon emissions by 19 percent, compared to the performance of the old units.
The new units have an efficiency level of 44.93 percent compared to the subcritical boiler which has an efficiency level of seven percent.
“For Meralco Powergen, it reaffirms our belief of securing our energy and it reaffirms what we’ve been doing for our power projects, we look after our stakeholders not only our community but our government policymakers including local government officials which are very valuable partners in progress,” Santana said during the power plant visit.
Meralco assistant vice president Joe Zaldarriaga said the plant visit “is certainly a learning experience for us.”
“Obviously these are best practices shared by our friends in Linkou and part of that responsibility is ensuring that the community is involved in all undertakings... We will continue to ensure that the level of service that we provide in the Philippines will approximate what we learned here in Taiwan,” he said.
Ru-Chin Chou, deputy plant general manager of Lin Kou Thermal Power Plant, said the Philippines should choose a good engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the ultra-supercritical plant.