by Lenie Lectura, February 4, 2015
A COAL-FIRED power project of AboitizPower Corp. unit will break ground soon, possibly within the current quarter, a top official of the power firm said on Wednesday.
“I can’t say the exact date but most likely,” AboitizPower Senior Vice President Luis Miguel Aboitiz said during a forum on energy regulation organized by the Norwegian embassy.
Aboitiz was referring to Therma Visayas Inc.’s 510-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant.
Earlier, Therma Power Inc. entered into a shareholders’ agreement with Vivant Integrated Generation Corp. for the latter’s 20-percent investment in Therma Visayas Inc., the project vehicle for the power project in Cebu.
The project is scheduled to go online by the third quarter of 2017. The project is expected to create over 1,500 new jobs during construction, and about 150 new permanent jobs during operation.
Aboitiz said Hyundai is the chosen EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contractor for the project.
“We’re negotiating with the contractor. We have an EPC, we’re just finalizing the agreements and terms and then we have to give the notice to proceed. We have a supplier for the equipment, the EPC, the site,” he said on the sidelines of Wednesday’s event.
Aside from the Cebu power project, another unit of AboitizPower, Therma South Inc., is preparing for its Davao coal project.
Its 300-MW power plant, which will start operations in the first half of 2015, will provide much-needed power to the Mindanao grid. Moreover, its unit three expansion of 170 MW will also begin construction within the year.
The coal-fired power plants will use circulating fluidized-bed technology to ensure that these, during operations, will meet national and international environment and health standards. AboitizPower is allotting P52 billion in capital expenditure for the year and remains committed to increase total capacity by over 2,000 MW in the next five years.
Its other power projects include the 420-MW Pagbilao base-load plant in Quezon, which began construction late last year; 68-MW Manolo Fortich hydropower plant in Bukidnon, which will also start construction within the year; and the 600-MW Subic base-load power facility.
AboitizPower is also interested to expand its renewable-energy portfolio. This includes exploring new sources of renewable-energy such as solar and geothermal.
It recently forged a partnership with American company SunEdison, to build solar-power plants in the country. It has also identified roughly 200 MW of potential run-of-river power projects located across the archipelago for the next five years.