The construction of the coal powered plant in Subic, Zambales will be ready in 3.5 years, according to Manila Electric Co. president Oscar S. Reyes.
The construction of the plant was delayed by a writ of kalikasan which was recently overturned by the Supreme Court.
Opponents to the project deem it as harmful to the environment and succeeded in getting a writ to stop the project.
Redondo Peninsula Energy (RP Energy) president Angelito U. Lantin said the decision of the Supreme Court will enable it to proceed with the project.
Reyes said the ruling “ allows us to move ahead with the project that is badly needed for the Luzon grid in order to meet growing demand for electricity”.
Reyes said the firm is also finalizing with its financing scheme for the project and proceed with the awarding of the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract.
Reyes said had it not been for the writ, the project could have been finished late this year or early 2016.
With no more hindrance, Reyes said they are likely to proceed with the construction which is expected to last for 42 months.
“We would now proceed to bring that capacity. It will take roughly 42 months to construct,” he added.
He also said that the firm has already invested P1 billion just for the site preparation.
According to Theodore Te, SC Public Information Office Chief, the SC en banc decided to reverse the earlier ruling of the Court of Appeals (CA) on January 30, 2013 and its resolution dated May 22, 2013.
The CA had granted the petition for the issuance of a writ of kalikasan filed in 2012 by militant group leaders Teddy Casiño, Rafael Mariano, Emerenciana De Jesus and Raymond Palatino.
But the High Court reversed and set aside the CA decision paving the way for the denial of the petition for writ of kalikasan.
At the same time, the SC also upheld the validity of the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) last December 2008 in favor of RP Energy.
It also upheld the legality of the June 8, 2010 lease and development agreement between Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) and RP Energy.
The petitioners argued that the ECC was issued to the firm even without prior approval of the local government units.
They also argued that the move of the RP Energy to upgrade the capacity of the power plant from 150 megawatts to 600 megawatts is not allowed since the ECC issued by the DENR stated that it cannot expand the generation capacity without the benefit of an environmental impact assessment.