SMC Global to invest P18.5 billion for LNG plant in Negros

Danessa Rivera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — SMC Global Power Holdings Corp., the power unit of diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC), plans to invest P18.5 billion for a 300-megawatt (MW) liquefied natural gas (LNG) combined cycle power plant in Negros Occidental.

In a filing with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), SMC Global’s wholly owned unit Reliance Energy Development Inc. (REDI) is proposing a 4x75-MW LNG Combined Cycle Power Plant within the San Carlos City Ecozone in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental.

The proposed project, which has an estimated project cost of P18.5 billion, will be constructed inside the 49-hectare leased property from Grand Planters International Inc.

An on-shore LNG terminal facility will be constructed adjacent to the power plant to store and re-gasify the LNG that will be delivered through barging.

REDI is targeting to start constructing the power project in the third quarter with completion eyed in the third quarter of 2024. It is in the process of pre-feasibility study and environmental compliance certificate (ECC) application.

The company considered different technologies for the project, such as natural gas, coal, wind and solar, but chose natural gas since it is more flexible, secured, environmental-friendly and cost-effective.

Moreover, the Department of Energy issued a moratorium on new coal-fired power plants in 2020 to support the government’s direction towards clean energy, removing coal from REDI’s list of considerations.

REDI said its proposed power plant would help augment the demand for reliable and affordable power supply.

“The proposed power plant will not only supply enough electricity to Filipino households and businesses, but will also contribute to national development. The proposed project will also support DOE’s advocacy to shift to cleaner source of energy to reduce the GHG emissions from the energy sector,” it said.

The San Carlos power plant is part of SMC Global’s plan to ramp up its renewable energy   and cleaner power investments to reduce its carbon footprint while helping address the country’s need for reliable and affordable power.

The company has also dropped plans to put up new coal-fired power plants following the DOE’s coal moratorium.

Among the projects it is working on are a 1,300-MW LNG combined cycle plant in Batangas City, which will provide clean and stable power to Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) over the next 20 years, beginning 2024.

It is also set to build small-scale LNG plants in eight to 10 islands in the Visayas and Mindanao regions to boost rural electrification.

It will put up solar plants combined with battery storage facilities at 10 locations throughout the country. These will be operational by 2023.

SMC Global has also lined up several hydroelectric power plants in Luzon, including a 300-MW pumped-storage hydropower facility in Aklan to be completed by 2025 to boost the renewable energy and peaking supply in the Visayas grid.

By end-2022, the company aims to complete 31 battery energy storage system facilities. It is investing $1 billion for the projects, which have a total capacity of 1,000 MW.

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