Korea Electric Power Corp. (Kepco), the largest power distributor in South Korea, is eager to take advantage of the bright prospects in the country’s energy sector, mulling over a plan to build three plants in the Philippines in the next three years.
“Kepco is actually scouting already. That’s a hundred percent sure,” Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla said in a telephone interview, adding that part of the Korean firm’s investment prospects in the country involves the building of three new power plants.
According to him, Kepco, together with other Asian firms, is serious in bringing in new power plants into the country.
“Seryoso sila, maraming pang magdala ng mga planta sa bansa [companies from other countries are seriously looking at brining more power plants into the country]. They are ready to go,” Petilla reiterated.
“Any investment that we’re currently looking at right now are for 2016 onwards,” he added. However, he pointed out that the challenge comes in when looking at government’s readiness to welcome these energy investments from other countries, specifying that the demand must be well computed first before adding more power supply.
In general, many Korean and Japanese power players have set their eyes on the Philippines for investment opportunities, Petilla said. According to him, these firms are even open to do joint ventures with local companies.
Kepco, which owns the 200-megawatt (MW) Cebu coal-fired power plant in Naga, is interested to expand in the Visayas area. The Naga coal project was constructed by Kepco SPC Power Corp., a joint venture of Kepco Philippines and SPC Power Corp., in 2011.
The Korean firm also runs the 1,200-MW Ilijan combined cycle natural gas power plant in Batangas under the build-operate-transfer scheme.