• Meralco unit to close P40-B deal to finance power plant

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    SAN Buenaventura Power Ltd. Co. expects to consummate a P40-billion financing deal for a 455- megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Mauban, Quezon.

    San Buenaventura is controlled by Meralco PowerGen Corp., the power generation arm of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), the country’s largest power distributor. The power plant is estimated to cost P49.5 billion.

    Meralco chief financial officer Betty Siy-Yap said San Buenaventura is expected to close the loan transaction with five to six local banks next month.

    The engineering, procurement and construction contract (EPC) for the project has already been awarded, Siy-Yap said.

    Closing the deal is the last step after the EPC contract, because the prices have to be factored in, Siy-Yap told reporters over the weekend.

    San Buenaventura is expected to start construction this year and complete the project in 2018, Meralco President Oscar Reyes said.

    Reliable sources who asked not to be named said the contract to build the power plant will be awarded to Japan’s Mitsubishi-Dailem.

    “We are hoping that we can move in an accelerated pace because it’s needed. We’re trying to have it in place, hopefully in time for summer 2018,” Reyes noted, saying the Luzon grid would need additional capacity by three years from now.

    The power plant will sell its entire output to Meralco.

    Meralco PowerGen partnered with Electricity Generating Public Co. Ltd. of Thailand for the San Buenaventura project.

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