MGen’s Subic JV power plant in ‘advanced stage’

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CONSTRUCTION of a 600-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Subic, Zambales is now in the advanced stages after some legal hurdles have been addressed, an official said.

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The project is a joint venture between Meralco Power Gen Corp., (MGen) the energy arm of the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), and Redondo Peninsula Energy Inc. (RP Energy).

Meralco president and chief executive officer Oscar Reyes said MGen has resumed talks with RP Energy following some “favorable developments” concerning the project.

Reyes was referring to the decision of the Supreme Court (SC) upholding the validity of the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to RP Energy, as well as the Lease and Development Agreement (LDA) between Subic Bay Management Authority (SBMA) and RP Energy.

The project, which is a 2 x 300-MW circulating-fluidized bed coal-fired plant, was delayed because of the writ of kalikasan filed before the High Court by some groups opposing construction of the coal plant.

Reyes added the project is now in the “advanced stage” as they have already chosen the EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) contractor for an updated contract price.

He said the firms have also tapped a consortium of local banks for the financing of the project.

Reyes said that once the plant becomes operational, it would significantly contribute to a more robust power supply situation in the Luzon grid.

“We are committed to being an integral part of the solution to the twin concerns of tight power supply and rising power costs,” said Reyes.

Meralco chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said MGen targets to put up more power plants with a total capacity of at least 3,000 MW to address the increasing demand in Luzon.

Besides the 600MW coal-fired power plant in Subic, MGen is also putting up the 455-MW coal-fired plant of San Buenaventura Power Ltd. (SBPL) in Mauban, Quezon Province and a 1,200-MW coal-fired power plant in Atimonan also in Quezon.

In addition, MGen has a 22 percent interest in Global Business Power Corp. (GBPC), owner of two 82-MW coal plants in Iloilo. The facility is currently being expanded with the construction of a 150-MW coal-fired plant being built beside the two existing units.

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  1. About time, too. 600MW is exactly whatr the Department of Energy warned we would need by 2015 . . . three years ago. But rather than step up power production, this administration with its populist mindset gave in to the pseudo-environmentalist Reds and ordered the plant not to open. (It had not even begun operations, but a legal technicality froze it.) Then when the predictions became imminent the government agencies scrambled to wash their hands of the snafu, pointing fingers at which agency ordered the closure. I only hope this last-minute coming to their senses isn’t too late for us.