Meralco starts work on Quezon coal plant

by Alena Mae S. Flores – December 14, 2015 at 11:45 pm

from Manila Standard

San Buenaventura Power Ltd. Co., a unit of Manila Electric Co., has started construction of a 455-megawatt, coal-fired power plant in Mauban, Quezon province.

The company held ground-breaking ceremonies on Dec. 10 for the power facility that will provide the baseload supply needed to serve electricity consumers in Luzon.

The San Buenaventura project is a joint venture between Meralco PowerGen Corp., the power generation unit of Meralco, and New Growth BV, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Electricity Generating Public Co. Ltd. of Thailand.

“The SBPL plant will be one of the first facilities in the Philippines to utilize the supercritical boiler technology leading to higher efficiency and significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions in comparison to traditional boiler technology,” Egco president Chanin Chaonirattisai said in a disclosure to the Stock Exchange of Thailand.

San Buenaventura, meanwhile, said in a statement it tapped the consortium of Daelim Industrial Co. Ltd. and Mitsubishi Corp. as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor and received the notice to proceed on December 8.

The power plant is expected to start commercial operations by mid-2019.

Electricity generated by the plant will be sold to Meralco, the country’s largest distribution utility, under a 20-year power supply agreement approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission early this year.

San Buenaventura said the power plant would play a crucial role as electricity demand grew, especially in Luzon which accounts for about 70 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

The development of the project is part of the efforts of Meralco PowerGen and Egco Group to attain energy security.

It is also part of Meralco PowerGen’s goal to build a power generation portfolio of about 3,000 MW and significantly contribute to the growing demand for power.

San Buenaventura earlier signed an omnibus agreement with a consortium of reputable local banks to provide a P42.15-billion loan for the project.

The company last month held a ceremonial signing on the project funding, the biggest all peso project finance facility in the country to date.

The senior-term loan lenders are BDO Unibank Inc., China Banking Corp.; Metropolitan Bank & Trust Co.; Philippine National Bank; and Rizal Commercial Banking Corp.

BDO Unibank-Trust and Investments Group served as the loan facility agent, while Metrobank-Trust Banking Group acted as collateral trustee.

Meanwhile, BDO Capital & Investment Corp. and First Metro Investment Corp. were appointed as joint bookrunners and joint issue coordinators. Along with Chinabank, PNB Capital and Investment Corp. and RCBC Capital Corp., they also acted as joint lead arrangers for the transaction.

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