SMC eyes expanded power plants in Luzon, Mindanao

by Lenie Lectura, BusinessMirror

Posted at Jan 20 2014 09:35 AM | Updated as of Jan 20 2014 05:35 PM

MANILA, Philippines - San Miguel Corp. (SMC) wants to expand the capacity of the coal-fired power facilities that it plans to put up in Luzon and Mindanao. Luzon has intermittent power problems, but Mindanao is suffering acutely from insufficient generating capacity and this has caused power blackouts that are beginning to seriously threaten the economy of the island.

SMC said it hopes the projects would help address the power-supply crisis on both islands, especially the latter.

For Luzon, San Miguel Consolidated Power Corp. (SMCP) will increase the capacity of its planned Limay power plant in Bataan by an additional 300 megawatts (MW). SMC previously announced plans to build a 600-MW coal-fired facility in Barangay Lamao in Limay, Bataan province.

Based on a Department of Energy report on private sector-initiated power projects as of 2013, SMC will put up another 300-MW power plant that it plans to commission between 2019 and 2020. This expansion is under Phase 3 of SMC’s Limay power-plant project.

Phase 1 involves the construction of two power plants, each with a capacity of 150 MW. The target commissioning for Unit 1 is in February 2016. Five months after, the company expects to fire up the other unit.

Phase 2 also involves the construction of two power plants with a total capacity of 300 MW. The first unit will be put up in January 2017; the second one will be commissioned in July of the same year.

In all, SMC’s Limay power-plant project consists of five facilities that will be put up in four years, starting 2016.

The company has so far completed the feasibility study for the project.

For Mindanao, SMPC will build a 1,200-MW coal-power plant in Barangay Culaman, Malita, Davao del Sur. The entire development is expected to be completed in 2020.

The company already broke ground for Phase 1 of the 300-MW SMC Davao power plant in July last year. The first 150-MW unit will be fired up in October 2015; the second 150-MW unit is scheduled in March 2016.

SMC is in the process of negotiating for the financing for Phase 1 of the project, which costs P25.8 billion. The company is also in talks with prospective off-takers for electric power-supply contracts.

Phase II involves the construction of another 300-MW power plant to be commissioned in December 2018.

Phase III of the 1,200-MW project involves putting up two 300-MW units. The first 300MW is scheduled for commission in December 2019 while the second 300MW is in December 2020.

Land acquisition for phases 2 and 3 has been completed. The company is now securing the necessary permits and other regulatory requirements. There are also ongoing negotiations for financing arrangements.

SMC has become one of the largest independent power-generation companies in the country with an installed capacity of 2,545 MW. It now has a 17-percent market in the national grid and 23-percent share in the Luzon grid as of end-2012.

The conglomerate plans to install a total of 3,000 MW in new capacity over the long term, using power plants that run on clean-coal technology.