SMC set to open 2 coal plants

by Alena Mae S. Flores – August 14, 2016 at 11:50 pm

from Manila Standard Today

SMC Consolidated Power Corp., a unit of San Miguel Corp., is set to start the commercial operations of two large coal-fired power plants in Luzon and Mindanao this year.

San Miguel president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang said the first unit of the 300-megawatt coal-fired power project in Limay, Bataan and the first unit of the 300-MW coal-fired facility in Malita, Davao del Sur would start operations before the end of the year.

Data from the Energy Department showed testing and commissioning of the first 150-megawatt unit of the P25.5-billion coal-fired power facility in Limay, Bataan would begin this month, while commissioning of the second 150-MW unit would start in April 2017.

Commercial operations of the first unit are expected to start by November, after the testing and commissioning phase, while operations of the second unit would start July 2017. Construction of the power plant in Barangay Lamao in Limay town started in January 2014.

San Miguel Corp. built the power plant to meet the rising demand in the Luzon grid which currently suffers from thin reserves.

In Mindanao, San Miguel also started the testing and commissioning of the first phase of another 300-MW coal-fired power plant in Barangay Culaman, Malita, Davao del Sur.

The first 150-MW unit of the P25.8-billion power plant in Davao del Sur is expected to start commercial operations this month, while the second 150-MW unit is targeted to start commercial operations in November.

San Miguel has become one of the most aggressive power players in the country.  The Energy Department recently granted a permit to SMC Global Power Corp., the power am of the San Miguel, to conduct a grid impact study for two other coal-fired power plants with combined capacity of 928 megawatts.

The department issued the grid impact study clearance for a 600-MW coal plant in Barangay Ibabang Polo, Pagbilao and a 328-MW circulating fluidized bed coal-fired power facility in Barangay Danong, Santa Cruz, Davao del Sur.

San Miguel also said it would put up a coal-fired power plant in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The company signed a memorandum of understanding with ARMM, which is comprised of Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi provinces.  The ARMM plant is expected to serve the power needs of the entire ARMM region, with estimated 573,446 households. Only 30 percent of households in ARMM have electricity.

San Miguel president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang earlier said that instability, lack of infrastructure and insufficient power supply made investors wary about the region but he was hoping that San Miguel’s vote of confidence in ARMM would generate jobs, entrepreneurial opportunities and provide a major economic boost in the region.

San Miguel said the planned investment in ARMM was in line with the strategy to locate facilities and production centers outside urban centers, creating strong “second-tier cities,” generating jobs and rebalancing the national economy.

Ang also said San Miguel was looking at putting up three power plants with a total capacity of 300 MW in industrial estates in Mindanao.