SPBL starts building Mauban power plant

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SAN Buenaventura Power Ltd. Co. (SBPL) has started constructing a 500-megawatt (MW) power plant in Mauban, Quezon.

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The project will partly provide the baseload supply for consumers in Luzon.

The facility, the country’s first supercritical coal-fired plant, is expected to be operational in the first half of 2019.

Its electricity will be sold to the Manila Electric Co., (Meralco), the country’s largest distribution utility, under 20-year supply agreement approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission earlier this year.

The Mauban power plant is a partnership between Meralco PowerGen Corp. (MGen), the power generation arm of Meralco, and New Growth BV, a wholly owned subsidiary of Electricity Generating Public Co. Ltd. (EGCO Group) of Thailand.

SBPL tapped the consortium of Daelim Industrial Co. Ltd. and Mitsubishi Corp. as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the project.

The notice to proceed was issued on 8 December 2015.

The tariff of the SBPL plant is one of the most competitive for new capacities that are expected to come on-stream in the next few years.

According to MGen, the power plant will play a crucial role as electricity demand grows in Luzon which accounts for about 70 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

“This is also aligned with MGen’s goal to have a power generation portfolio of about 3,000 MW and significantly contribute to the growing demand for power,” the company said.

SBPL entered into an omnibus agreement with a consortium of local banks to provide a P42.150-billion loan for the project.

The company on November 27 held the ceremonial signing for the project funding, which is so far the biggest all-peso project finance facility in the country.

The senior-term loan lenders are BDO Unibank Inc., China Banking Corp., Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co., Philippine National Bank, and Rizal Commercial Banking Corp.

BDO Unibank-Trust and Investments Group served as the loan facility agent, while Metrobank-Trust Banking Group acted as collateral trustee.

BDO Capital & Investment Corp. and First Metro Investment Corp. were appointed as joint bookrunners and joint issue coordinators.

Together with Chinabank, PNB Capital and Investment Corp. and RCBC Capital Corp. also acted as joint lead arrangers for the transaction.

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