Meralco to spend $2-B for power plants

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 25 2010 06:12 PM | Updated as of Oct 26 2010 09:04 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) is planning to spend around $2 billion to put up power generation plants with total capacity of 1,500 megawatts (MW) to ensure steady supply within its franchise area.

Meralco president and chief executive Manuel Pangilinan told reporters that the company is now in the process of forming a new subsidiary, Meralco Power Generation Co. (MPGC), to handle its power generation business.

Pangilinan said Meralco's board approved last Friday the company's plan to construct the proposed power facilities, most likely coal-fired, within the next 6 years.

A 500-MW peaking plant will be built by 2012.

Meralco senior executive vice president and chief operating officer Oscar Reyes, meanwhile, said they are in talks with several possible partners for the power generation business.

"We have discussions with a number of companies. They have submitted proposals to us. We are currently looking at these proposals and would accept those that would offer the best benefits to the company and our customers," Reyes added.

Pangilinan, for his part, said they would be happy to receive offers, which could bring down the generation cost to below P5 per kilowatt-hour.