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.
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.