Semirara plant adds 150 MW

by Alena Mae S. Flores – February 02, 2016 at 11:45 pm

from Manila Standard

Southwest Luzon Power Generation Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Semirara Mining and Power Corp. of the Consunji Group, said Tuesday it expects to start the commercial operation of a 150-megawatt unit of the 300-MW Calaca coal plant expansion project in Batangas province this month.

“First unit [has been] already running since Sunday. [It] will be on commercial operations before end of February,” Southwest Luzon chief executive Isidro Consunji said.

Once fully operational, the first unit would add 150 MW of capacity to the Luzon grid, while the second unit would add another 150 MW in the coming months.

The power expansion project experienced delay in the start of operations last year, but Southwest Luzon said it expected to complete the plant on time to meet the increased demand during the dry months.

“The second unit is to start final testing next week,” Consunji said.

Southwest Luzon is expanding the existing 600-MW Calaca coal-fired power plant in Batangas in phases. The completion of the 300-MW expansion is seen to significantly boost Semirara Mining’s revenues this year.

The current Calaca facility consists of two 300-MW generating units and is designed to utilize local coal from the Semirara coal mines in Antique. The expansion project would bring the total capacity of the Calaca coal facility to 900 MW.

DMCI Holdings Inc., the holding company of the Consunji family, bought the existing Calaca plant from the government in July 2009, with a bid of $361.7 million.

The expansion project involves the construction of two 150-MW units which are expected to be fully completed this year. Southwest Luzon also plans a bigger expansion project in the future.

Under the plan, the second phase of the expansion involves the construction of two single units of 350 MW each, which would bring the total capacity of the Calaca coal-fired power plant complex to 1,600 MW.

Semirara has been negotiating with prospective joint venture partners for the initial 350-MW unit under the second phase of the expansion project, but no firm plan was announced so far.