US$976-M plant adds 420 MW to Luzon grid

By Myrna M. Velasco – May 31, 2018, 10:00 PM
from Manila Bulletin

Pagbilao, Quezon – Luzon grid gained another 420-megawatt (MW) capacity of supply shoring up with the commercial commissioning of the US$976-million Pagbilao-3 coal-fired power project of the Aboitiz Group and the joint venture of Japanese firms Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and Marubeni Corporation.

President Rodrigo Duterte led on Thursday (May 31) the power plant’s commercial inauguration – a project that had construction gestation period of more than three years, kicking off in the past administration. The plant was initially synchronized to the grid late last year.

This facility, which is under corporate vehicle Pagbilao Energy Corporation (PEC) had equally split its capacity of 200 MW each to project sponsors Aboitiz Power Group and TeaM Energy Philippines.

As asserted by the project developers, the coal-fired generation asset which is equipped with pulverized sub-critical technology will expectedly “boost and stabilize energy supply in Luzon grid.”

And for both the national government and host communities, this venture will bequeath billions-of-pesos in taxes, such as real property taxes and business taxes – on top of other socio-economic benefits to Quezon province and the host municipality and barangay.

PEC President John V. Alcordo pointed out the country’s need for additional power capacity to underpin the massive infrastructure build-up that the Duterte administration has set on blueprint. At the TeaM Energy Philippines level, where he is president and chief executive officer, Alcordo qualifies that this is the single biggest Japanese investment in the sector.

“The growth of the Philippine economy under the administration of President Duterte will certainly translate to a rising demand for energy in the coming years,” he said; while stressing that the facility “will help address the country’s development needs moving forward.”

Aboitiz Power President Antonio R. Moraza, who is also the chairman of project company PEC, said the facility could help set traction on the nation’s economic advancement “through cost effective and reliable power plant,” which he emphasizes to be compliant also with environmental standards.

Alcordo similarly considers the power plant venture “as an investment in the country’s future,” not just in lighting Filipino homes, power industries but one that will propel productivity as well as provide employment opportunities.

Additionally, Aboitiz Power Chairman Erramon I. Aboitiz qualified that both project sponsors “have taken the risk by committing our equity and putting in place an ECA (energy conversion agreement) structure to give comfort to our creditors, yet putting more of the offtake risk to the project proponents.”

The notice-to-proceed on the facility’s EPC contractors South Korean firm Daelim Industrial Co. Ltd. and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Ltd. had been served latter months of 2014, with actual construction commencing December of that year.

The project is sited proximate to the existing Pagbilao Units 1 and 2 coal-fired facilities that have aggregate capacity of 735 megawatts.