500-MW Meralco PowerGen project finally begins construction

In Mauban, Quezon

by Myrna Velasco – December 14, 2015

from Manila Bulletin

The 500-megawatt San Buenaventura coal-fired power project of the Manila Electric Company’s (Meralco) power generation subsidiary and Thai firm EGCO Group will finally take off from blueprint with the notice-to-proceed on construction already served to the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor.

It is a project that has been well documented in media since its conception to the conclusion of partnership agreements, securing supply deal and financial closing, but it was only last week that the officials of both Meralco PowerGen Corporation (MGen) and New Growth B.V. of EGCO held the groundbreaking rites for the facility’s development advancement.

The EPC contractor tapped for the project to be located in Mauban, Quezon had been South Korean firm Daelim Industrial Co. Ltd. and Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation. Notice to proceed was formally served December 8 this year.

The facility, which is targeted on-line by the first half of 2019, will be under corporate vehicle San Buenaventura Power Ltd. Co. (SBPL) that is majority owned by Meralco PowerGen.

Around that time, Luzon grid is anticipated to be teetering already on surplus capacity if all the planned projects will reach commercial operation phases – but SBPL’s safety net is its 20-year power supply agreement to serve the requirements of Meralco.

The project developers vouched that when the power plant gets on stream in three years, it will be the first one equipped with leading edge supercritical technology.

So far, this is a development aligned with what many developed countries have been embracing as advanced technology deployment in coal plants to efficiently manage emissions of such facilities.

It has to be noted that coal plants are undergoing retrofits in many developed power markets so they can become compelling ally in minimizing the global energy sector’s carbon footprints.

Once on-line, Meralco PowerGen has noted that “the tariff of SBPL plant is one of the most competitive for new capacities,” based on the approval set by the Energy Regulatory Commission.

The facility’s commercial development is underpinned by a P42.150 billion loan facility while the rest of the funding will be from equity contribution of the project sponsors.