SMC seeks new funding for coal-fired power plants

Danessa Rivera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The power unit of San Miguel Corp. (SMC) is securing new funding for its two coal-fired power plants affected by the competitive selection process (CSP) directive of the Supreme Court (SC).

SMC Global Power Holdings Inc. is in the process of arranging new funding instruments for its planned two 2x150-megawatt (MW) circulating fluidized bed (CFB) coal-fired power plants, chairman and CEO Ramon Ang said.

These are the Central Luzon Premiere Power Corp. (CLPPC) in Pagbilao, Quezon and Mariveles Power Generation Corp. (MPGC) in Mariveles, Bataan.

“Each project will have four 150-MW units, so that when one unit trips, there are still other units running,” Ang said, noting the project cost for the two plants is estimated at $2 million per MW or around $2.4 billion.

Earlier, SMC said it would not shut its door on coal power plants, particularly clean coal technology, because these are “the most reliable and cost-efficient fuel source for greenfield power projects.”

That’s why it will continue to consider putting up the 4x150-megawatt (MW) circulating fluidized bed coal-fired power plant in Mariveles, Bataan and the 600-MW coal power plant in Pagbilao, Quezon.

MPGC and CLPPC were previously halted after SMC acquired the Masinloc coal-fired power plants in Zambales province in December 2017.

The Bataan power plant was originally eyed for completion in 2020 and the Quezon power plant for commercial operations in 2021.

The two power projects are also part of the controversial power supply agreements (PSAs) of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), which were filed a day before the extended CSP deadline.

The CSP policy, which requires distribution utilities (DUs) and electric cooperatives to undertake competitive bidding to secure PSAs with generation companies, was issued by the Department of Energy (DOE) on June 30, 2015.

However, it was only implemented by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) on April 30, 2016 to give power players a transition period to comply.

With the recent SC ruling, Ang said they have no choice but to comply with the CSP directive and had asked Meralco to start the CSP process.

“We submit ourselves to CSP. We have already advised Meralco to conduct CSP process,” he said.

The DOE had ordered DUs and ECs, particularly Meralco, to expedite the CSP bidding of stalled power supply PSA applications.

This as Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said the government would ensure the compliance of all affected parties in the energy sector to the SC ruling.



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