Philex, GBPC may partner for Silangan project

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Philex Mining Corp. is mulling over a plan to partner with tycoon George Ty’s Global Business Power Corp. (GBPC) in putting up a coal-fired power plant in Silangan, Surigao del Norte.

Manuel Pangilinan, Philex Mining chairman, told reporters that the Silangan project “will probably be a joint venture” with GBPC, the holding firm for GT Capital Holdings Inc.’s power investments.

Philex Mining earlier approached Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) to do a partnership with them for the project.

To proceed with the operations of the Silangan Project, Philex Mining has to look for a supplier that will distribute power to the plant.

As of now, Pangilinan said the connection between Philex Mining and GBPC is just a “broad understanding,” and that no final joint venture agreement has been signed yet between them.

“Anywhere between 50 [megawatts][and]80 megawatts will be for Philex Mining alone. We might build a slightly larger capacity to achieve economies of scale so the excess will probably sold to the Mindanao grid,” he said.

Pangilinan, who also chairs Meralco, said in earlier reports that the company is considering the plan to put up an 80-MW coal-fired power plant at Silangan, and Meralco may be tapped as a power supplier for the plant.

“They [Philex] have approached Meralco to see if they’re interested,” said Pangilinan.

The Silangan project, which is expected to start commercial operations in 2017, involves the exploration of the Boyongan and Bayugo gold, copper and silver deposits. The investment of Philex Mining for the Silangan project may reach up to P8 billion.

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