US$1.2-B coal-fired power plant up in Subic

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SUBIC BAY FREEPORT: It’s all systems go for the US$1.2 billion 600 megawatts (MW) coal-fired power plant project here with construction to commence in the next few months, the project proponent said. An official of Redondo Peninsula Energy, Inc. (RPE) said.

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In a press briefing held at the Subic Park Hotel here, Redondo Peninsula Energy, Inc. (RPE) Vice President and Head of External Affairs Reynalita Santana, told members of the media the construction of the power plant, which will be in two phases, will begin within the first six months of this year and is expected to be completed in 2020.

She said additional power to be generated by the plant will help achieve energy security for the country and promote national and local economic development.

“The project will provide direct and indirect jobs to host communities, stimulate local industries, contribute to the social upliftment of direct impact zones through social development programs and corporate social responsibility activities,” Santana said.

The power plant, to be located at Redondo Peninsula across the Subic Bay Freeport is a consortium led by Meralco Gen which owns 47 percent, Aboitiz Power Corp. and Taiwan Cogeneration International Corp. with 25 percemt each and Meralco Pension Fund with a 3 percent stake.

The project, according to Santana, is expected to be completed in three-and-a-half years and will generate some 2,000 jobs during the construction period plus 100 additional jobs to the residents during its operation.

“The 55-kilometer transmission line interconnection from the power plant site to Hermosa Substation in Bataan has been approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission and the rights-of-way for the transmission for phase 1 from the RP Energy site to the Hanjin Substation has been secured,” Santana said.

Santana added the project started as early as 2007 but because of the opposition to the coal-fired power plant, the project’s time table has been delayed.

With the Supreme Court lifting the Writ of Kalikasan in 2015, construction of the power plant resumed. It is expected to provide the much-needed additional source of power by early 2020.

Coal fuel will be imported from Australia.

The official also said that RP Energy “will follow the strict environmental compliance requirements.”

Santana said the engineering, procurement and construction contract has been signed with Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction Co., Ltd. Of South Korea and Azul Torre Construction, Inc. while the Board of Investments (BOI) has issued a certificate of registration for the project on June 1, 2016.

The registration entitles RP Energy to duty-free importation of equipment, materials and spares used for the power plant for a period of five years from date of registration and also income tax holiday for four years from commercial operation.

Of the 300MW initial power output of the plant, 225 MW will be sold to Meralco while Aboitiz Energy Solutions, Inc. will get 75MW, she said.

The project met serious opposition in the past years from residents and other environmental advocates in communities around Subic Bay, saying it poses serious risks to the environment and the people’s health and livelihood and far outweighs its purported benefits for the community and the people.

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2 Comments

  1. RPEI is still trying to beat the ratification of the Paris Agreement signing by July 2017 (President and Senate signing/ratification of the agreement). This coal fired power plant should not be allowed to be installed and constructed if the country is serious in meeting the 70% reduction in greenhouse (GHG) emission by 2030. What has to be done is for DOE to prepare the long-term energy policy considering the Climate Change Action Plan i.e. 70% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emission by 2030. With this target the RPEI coal fired power plant basically will not be needed. A transition stage using LNG in combination with renewable energy is what is needed as LNG power plant i.e. CCGT is compatible with variable energy sources and at the same time this will immediately reduce GHG emission. The Pagbilao LNG hub and power plant should be given priority (prioritize transmission line) including the integration of the Lopez Group’s planned LNG regasification terminal to back-up the Malampaya decline. Gas pipeline to Manila from Batangas should be pushed through so as to be able to convert Sucat and Malaya to gas i.e. CCGT and eventual conversion of the industry and transport to gas and CNG respectively. Without the long-term plan at the end we will be left with coal fired power plants and obsolete power distribution and distribution lines in the future with our neighbors generating power from cheap and clean energy!