Prime Meridian seeks ERC okay for $6.7-M Batangas natural-gas power facility

by Lenie Lectura, 01 April 201
from BusinessMirror

PRIME Meridian Powergen Corp. (PMPC), a subsidiary of First Gen Corp. of the Lopez group, has sought approval from the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to develop a $6.7-million point-to-point transmission facility for its 100-megawatt (MW) Avion natural-gas power plant in Batangas.

The facility will connect the Avion power plant and the 434-MW San Gabriel power projects to the transmission system of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines via the existing Santa Rita switchyard.

“The application filed by PMPC for the authority to develop, own and operate a dedicated point-to-point limited facility to connect to the existing switchyard of the Santa Rita power plant, is hereby approved,” the ERC said in its 27-page decision.

The commission said PMPC is financially capable of funding the project as development and construction of the facility will be funded by 100-percent equity of First Gen.

Without the transmission facility, PMPC said the Avion plant may become idle and its capacity put to waste. More important, the projected power demand of the country will not be met.

“The Department of Energy [DOE] projects that an additional capacity of 500 MW will be needed by 2016.

“This projection assumes that the committed plants for 2014 and 2015 are timely completed. Otherwise, additional capacity will be needed,” PMPC said.

For the Luzon grid, the DOE projected the energy demand to increase at an average annual growth rate of 4.13 percent, from 7,969 MW in 2012 to 10,693 MW in 2020 and will increase further to 16,477 MW in 2030.

First Gen has a portfolio of 15 power-generation plants with a combined capacity of 2,763 MW. PMPC will benefit from the vast experience of its parent company in its development, construction, operation and maintenance of the plant that will be connected to the existing switchyard of Santa Rita.

The Avion power facility is expected to be completed this year.