Top SMC exec warns NG of severe power shortage

By Lenie Lectura – June 10, 2019
from Business Mirror

THE power business of conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC) is keen on putting up more power plants that could generate 1,200 megawatts (MW) of additional capacity to help address a foreseen power shortage in the Luzon grid.

SMC President Ramon Ang directed SMC Global Power Holdings Corp. Senior Vice President and General Manager Elenita Go to look at the possibility of constructing power-generation facilities near the 1,200-MW natural gas-fired power plant in Ilijan, Batangas.

SMC Global Power’s subsidiary South Premiere Power Corp. is the independent power producer administrator (IPPA) for the Ilijan plant.

“Ellen, magtanong ka nga magkano to put up dalawang gas turbine na pareho ng Ilijan.

Magtayo ka ng dalawang bago, additional 1,200.MW, sa tabi ng Ilijan. Mauna ka magtayo; bilisan mo na,” Ang told Go during a recent roundtable with the media.

The planned power facility, Ang and Go said, could run on diesel as a peaking plant.

Kahit paandarin mo ng diesel, mabebenta mo kuryente nyan kasi three to four months angsummer na hirap tayo sa kuryente.”

Go said she might discuss this with EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contractor Daelim. “Papa-revive ko ang offer ng Daelim. Dati pa iyon.”

Ang noted that the Luzon grid’s reserves are thin and that more power plants should have been put up three years ago. “I hope they realize that grabe ang kakulangan ng kuryente. Baka magkaloko-loko soon.”

The country has been counting on a number of power plants to help augment its power requirements. These include the 1,200-MW coal-fired power plant in Atimonan, Quezon, of  Meralco Powergen Corp. (MGen), the power generation subsidiary of Meralco. Commercial operation of the plant was pushed back because of regulatory and legal issues.

Iyong sa Subic and Atimonan, lahat yun nasa drawing board. They were expecting lahat yun tatakboDapat bilisan nila ang CSP [Competitive Selection Process], advise nila ang DENR na bilisan ang ECC, bilisan ang kilos ng lahat kasi malapit na ang sobrang power shortage all over the country,” Ang said.

Aside from the planned 1,200-MW peaking plant, SMC Global Power planned to put up two 2×150-MW circulating-fluidized bed (CFB) coal-fired power plants under Central Luzon Premiere Power Corp. in Pagbilao, Quezon and Mariveles Power Generation Corp. in Mariveles, Bataan.

Similar to the stalled Atimonan project of Meralco, these two power projects are part of the power supply agreements (PSAs) of Meralco, which were filed before the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for approval a day before the extended CSP deadline.

The CSP policy, which requires distribution utilities (DUs) and electric cooperatives to undertake competitive bidding to secure PSAs with generation companies, was issued by the Department of Energy (DOE) on June 30, 2015. However, it was only implemented by the ERC on April 30, 2016, to give power players a transition period to comply.

With the recent SC ruling, Ang said they have no choice, but to comply with the CSP directive and had asked Meralco to start the CSP process.