MGen receives proposals for Atimonan power project

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MERALCO PowerGen Corp. (MGen), the power generating arm of the country’s largest power distribution utility Manila Electric Company (Meralco), said it has taken proposals from possible partners for its greenfield power generation project, Atimonan One Energy Inc. (A1E).

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A1E is the developer of a 1,200-megawatt supercritical coal-fired power plant project in Atimonan, Quezon Province. The plant is expected to augment the power supply in the Luzon grid when it starts commercial operations.

Meralco has taken proposals, Meralco Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan told reporters. But MGen would take only one partner out of the final list of four with a combination of foreign and local investors, he said.

Pangilinan said MGen would offer up to a 49-percent share to the possible partner, while the Pangilinan-led group would still be holding the controlling stake.

“Up to 49 percent, there’s no decision what will be the exact percentage. Meralco will keep at least 51 percent/. I think it depends on the final decision on how much we will own in Atimonan.

Definitely not lower than 51 percent, we will not sell control,” he explained.

The site preparation works are targeted to start in mid-2017. Expected completion of AE1 Unit 1 is in late 2021. Discussions with local banks on the debt portion of the project are still ongoing.

In terms of financing, Pangilinan said A1E has a total project cost that would be in the order of P135 billion “or thereabouts.”

“The projected debt level is about 70 percent of that, so it would be anywhere between 90 and 100. Seventy-five percent of that cost is about a hundred billion. The balance of P35 billion will be equity,” he said.

Meralco President Oscar Reyes said it would take eight banks to finance the project.

Evaluation of the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) bids for the power plant project received from contractors ais also ongoing.

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