• Meralco, Osaka Gas review $2-B project

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    POWER distributor Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) and Japanese firm Osaka Gas Co. Ltd. are set to conduct a feasibility study on whether to proceed with a planned 1,500 megawatt (MW) gas-fired power plant project that will cost $2 billion.

    “We’ll find out before the end of the year if it’s a go,” Meralco chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan told reporters over the weekend.

    Pangilinan said the venture would be a 60-40 set-up. “Osaka Gas will have a 40 percent stake because it has the land and Meralco wants to do 60 percent,” he said.

    Although Meralco has the capacity to finance the project, Pangilinan said it is better to bring in a partner in order to spread the risk, considering that it is too huge.

    “It’s a big project. It will cost at least $2 billion so it’s helpful to spread the risk,” Pangilinan said.

    The project will be undertaken by the power distributor’s subsidiary, Meralco Powergen Corp., and will be built in several phases with a total capacity of up to 1,500 MW.

    Under the plan, Pangilinan said the power plant will be integrated with a gasification facility.

    “It would have to be — you need a gasification plant because we need to import gas,” he said.

    According to Pangilinan, they will have to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) as fuel since the Malampaya gas field will not have enough supply.

    He explained that once gas is imported in LNG form, it will be re-gassed and will be used by the plant as fuel.

    In gasification, organic or fossil fuel-based carbonaceous materials are converted into carbon monoxide, hydrogen and carbon dioxide. It will then compress gas into liquid form and will be allowed to expand back into its gaseous form.

    Pangilinan said the plant is likely to be built in Luzon where the demand for power is expected to increase.

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