Meralco unit to start construction of Quezon coal plant

by Alena Mae S. Flores, February 2, 2015
from Manila Standard Today

Meralco PowerGen Corp., the power generation arm of distributor Manila Electric Co., will start the construction of the 455-megawatt coal plant in Mauban, Quezon this year to complete it by 2018.

Meralco president Oscar Reyes told reporters the company planned to start construction of the power project this year to meet the three-year construction timeline for a power plant.

“We are hoping that we can move in an accelerated pace because it’s needed. We’re trying to have it in place, hopefully in time for summer 2018,” Reyes said.

Reyes said Luzon would need additional capacity by 2018, because “you are better off with comfortable level of supply.”

Meralco PowerGen owns a 51-percent stake in San Buenaventura Power Ltd., the project company of the Mauban coal plant.

The company is in talks with banks for up to P40 billion in loans to finance the construction of the project.  “We are raising about P40 billion from the debt market,” Meralco PowerGen senior vice president Angelo Lantin said earlier.

“We are finalizing our EPC [engineering, procurement and construction contract] with our preferred contractor. We are also in the process of selecting arrangers for the project financing,” Lantin said.

The San Buenaventura coal plant will be an expansion of the existing 455-MW coal-fired power plant of Quezon Power Philippines Ltd. controlled by Electricity Generating Public Co. Ltd. of Thailand.

Egco’s subsidiary, New Growth B.V., owns the remaining 49 percent of San Buenaventura.

Reyes earlier said the San Buenaventura plant would help ensure the country’s long-term power supply.