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Cebu-Cordova Bridge Expected to be Finished by December 2021

by Philippine Resources - February 22, 2021

The P30-billion Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEx) is expected to be “substantially completed” this December, according to its developer.

“CCLEx is expected to be substantially completed in December 2021,” Cebu Cordova Link Expressway Corp. (CCLEx) said in a statement posted on its official website. “As of January 2021, the overall engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract of CCLEx is at 68.21% while construction progress alone is at 59.68%.”

A subsidiary company of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., the tollways arm of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), CCLEx recently finished the two main bridge pylons that will link the city of Cebu to Cordova, in the south of Mactan Island. This was supposed to open in March last year.

CCLEx President and General-Manager Allan G. Alfon said last year that they had to review the impact of the pandemic on the completion timeline.



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Philippine Resources - February 26, 2021

New Cebu Port Civil Works to Start Q2 2021

The civil works of the new Cebu international container port will start during the second half of 2021.This was revealed during the online 160th Maritime Forum of the Maritime League, Engr. Romel Pagarom, acting manager of CPA’s Planning and Monitoring Division, said that the groundbreaking of the NCICP is scheduled for August 16.The cost of the project is $118 million (roughly P5.9 billion) with around 35 months or approximately 3 years to build it, he said. But of course, there have been a few delays to the project. The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) in 2016 gave CPA, with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) as its lead implementing agency, the clearance to pursue the project. The construction of the project was supposed to start in 2018 but was pushed back to November 2020. Pagarom also added that they face several issues before proceeding with the civil works - Road-Right-Of-Way (RROW) acquisition which will connect the international port to the main road in Barangay Tayud (the MOA has already been drafted), and the need to work on the working visa of the South Korean consultants. Around P132 million is expected to be downloaded to Consolacion’s coffers if the agreement’s implementation would finally push through.“MOA was forwarded by Legal Service to the Office of the Secretary on January 20, 2021, for Sec. (Arthur) Tugade’s approval prior transfer of funds to the LGU of Consolacion. Thus, the PMU (Project Management Unit) will closely monitor the approval of the MOA and preparation of request for fund transfer of P132 million to LGU Consolacion,” said Pagarom.For the working visa of the consultants, project proponents will be sending out a reiteration letter to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). Last January 20, 2020, DOTr issued the notice of award for the US$5.4-million consultancy services for the NCICP project to South Korea-based Yooshin Engineering Corporation.Some of the features of this new facility include a berthing facility with a 500-meter long quay wall that can host two 2,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) vessels at the same time; operating facilities and structures for containers; a bridge and an access road; and a dredged waterway and turning basin.This will soon serve international cargoes and the current CIP will be transformed into a domestic port to address the decongestion problems.

Industry

Philippine Resources - November 03, 2020

SMC Plans to Build LNG Plant

San Miguel Corporation (SMC) has plans to build 2,550 megawatts of power facilities using imported liquefied natural gas to hit commercial operations in 2022. According to SMC President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon S. Ang, the project will be done in three stages at 850MW capacity each. The site is in Batangas, proximate to the existing 1,200MW Ilijan gas-fired power facility, and SMC Global Power Holdings Corporation is the subsidiary that advances this project to implementation. The plan is to offer its capacity in an exercise that power utility giant Manila Electric Company (Meralco) undertakes on its competitive selection process (CSP) for new power supply agreements. “The power generation group of San Miguel, we are now switching to LNG. We intend to build three lines of 850MW, so that’s 2,550MW,” Ang said. He added that the development blueprint is set for the targeted commercial operation date of the initial 850MW by 2022 - the timeframe when imported LNG begins to flow into the country. Ang said that SMC will have its own floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) to supply LNG to its own gas plants – and exploratory discussions with Batangas-headquartered engineering and gas firm AG&P are now being conducted. “All of that can be up and running in two years,” Ang said. “In 24 months, that plant will be up and running. Whether we win the Meralco bid or not, we will construct the first line of 850MW.” Ang said that the alternative off-takers could be the electric cooperatives, specifically those operating in the grids of Luzon and Visayas. According to him, the longer-term goal will double their capacity to 5,000MW, which can depend on the electricity demand gains. Ang also indicated that SMC is eyeing to replace their old coal plants with LNG-fed generating facilities, so that forced outages could be minimized.

Industry

Philippine Resources - November 10, 2020

DOE Issues Certifications to Energy Projects

The Department of Energy (DOE) has issued P37.553 billion Batangas Clean Energy Inc. project of billionaire Lucio Tan and its American firm partner Gen X Energy certifications as “energy project of national significance” or EPNS that entitles them to the streamlined process of permitting. As an EPNS venture, the qualified projects are afforded a 30-day approval process on their permits as sanctioned under Executive Order No. 30 issued by President Rodrigo Duterte in 2017. In addition, DOE specified that the EPNS certifications for the Batangas Clean Energy LNG import facility and the proposed combined cycle power plant projects had been given separately. The 3.0 mtpa onshore LNG import terminal will be sited close to the distilleries of the Tan group — Tanduay and Asia Brewery — at Pinamucan Ibaba in Batangas City. Once this project finishes in 2025, the LNG facility provides fuel to 1,100 megawatts of gas-fired power generating facilities that cater to the future energy needs of the distilleries, and the JG Summit petrochemical complex of the Gokongwei group in Batangas. The company also eyes selling the capacity to Manila Electric Company (Meralco), the country’s biggest power distribution firm – and that could be concretized if the Tan-led LNG firm is joining the competitive selection process (CSP). The floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) import facility of Texas-headquartered firm Excelerate Energy is another EPNS-certified LNG project, which is targeted to be the first player to bring LNG into the Philippines in the second quarter of 2022. Furthermore, the project design of Excelerate Energy permits third party access (TPA) on its LNG import facility and caters to multiple buyers of gas. Aside from these LNG facilities, the DOE also gave CEPNS to the Bacon-Manito geothermal expansion project of Energy Development Corporation (EDC) that has additional 49MW into its portfolio. Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi said, “We need to think of how we can ride this LNG wave, to ensure that we can safeguard our energy security. “We’ve started doing just that in the Philippines. We’ve started with the rollout of the Batangas LNG terminal by 2020 to safeguard against the anticipated depletion of the Malampaya gas facility by 2024.”

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Company

Philippine Resources - May 07, 2021

Semirara Mining Expects Profit Recovery This Year

Semirara Mining and Power Corp. (SMPC), a publicly traded integrated energy firm, expect some profit recovery this year, owing to improved coal and power demand and costs. SMPC chairman and CEO Isidro Consunji said at the company's virtual stockholders' meeting that the company's bottom line will boost as the coal and energy markets rebound from last year's historic lows. “To take advantage of the upswing, we will capitalize on our COVID-19 resiliency and adaptation strategy of focusing on our people, finances, and execution skills. However, given our operational headwinds and until our country reaches herd immunity, it is unlikely that we will return to our pre-pandemic profit level this year,” he said. The business ended in 2020 with a combined net income of P3.3 billion, down 66% from P9.6 billion the previous year. Revenues dropped 36.2 per cent to P23.3 billion as coal production, sales, and prices fell, while energy sales fell due to low power rates and Southwest Luzon Power Generation Corp's (SLPGC) expected and unplanned outages. The coal division of SMPC and the SLPGC plants will be the key drivers of development this year. With remedial steps introduced in Molave North Block 7 (NB7), the coal industry is expected to reach 13 million metric tons, according to SMPC president and COO Maria Cristina Gotianun. “This year, we expect our coal business to perform better on the back of recovering consumption and prices. The remedial measures we have been implementing since December have also allowed us to steadily normalize production. Now that the water seepage at NB7 has gone down to manageable levels, we expect annual production to hit 13 million metric tons,” she said. Due to excessive water seepages, SMPC postponed mining operations in Molave NB7 in early December, reducing coal output by 13% to 13.2 million metric tons. SLPGC is expected to drive profits in SMPC's power market due to higher sales, but Sem-Calaca Power Corp. (SCPC) is expected to produce poor performance. SCPC is the owner of the Calaca coal-fired power plant in Batangas, which it bought from the government in 2009 for $362 million. In the same location, SLPGC operates a 2x150-MW coal power plant. “For this year, we expect uneven results from our power subsidiaries. SLPGC is set to stage a strong profit recovery because of higher plant availability and better spot market prices. Unfortunately, SCPC is likely to deliver disappointing results because of the forced outage of its Unit 2 beginning Dec. 3 last year,” Gotianun said. SCPC's outage was triggered by a seven-month-old generator stator failing. Repairs are currently being negotiated with generator provider GE, according to Gotianun. “While they have agreed to cover the majority of the costs related to fixing the equipment, we are intent on making them shoulder all the necessary expenses. We expect to complete our negotiations within the year,” she said. “In the meantime, we are doing our best to fast track the repair of the generator. If all goes well, Unit 2 can be up and running by the third quarter of this year,” Gotianun said. This year, SMPC will invest P4 billion to rebound from last year's slump. The overall sum will be divided between SCPC and SLPGC for their prevention and repair services, with P2.9 billion going to buy mining and service equipment for the coal industry. Since the COVID-19 pandemic placed a burden on the company's liquidity last year, the management agreed to delay P3.7 billion of CAPEX to this year as part of its cash saving steps.

Mining

Philippine Resources - May 07, 2021

Australian Mining Firms Show Interest in the Philippines

According to Australia's Ambassador to the Philippines, Steven Robinson, several Australian mining firms have shown interest in mining in the Philippines, and the recent lifting of a nine-year ban on new mining ventures has paved the way for the possibility of responsible and world-class mining. Robinson said that mining if conducted safely and in accordance with international standards, could help the Philippines recover from the effects of the pandemic's economic impact. “The miners that we already have here—Orica [Philippines], OceanaGold, Red 5 [group], a number of them—are already thinking about what the future holds for them as a result of that ban being lifted,” he said in a virtual briefing on Monday. “They have started to reach out to us just in recent times to express interest in mining across the Philippines. I think that is a very positive step for the Philippines and good for Australian miners here,” he added, when asked to comment on the lifting of the ban. Malacanang recently released Executive Order No. 130, effectively lifting the nine-year ban on new mining deals. The order reversed a clause of then-President Benigno Aquino III's Executive Order No. 79, which was issued in 2012. The EO included a clause prohibiting the issuance of new mining licenses or mining output sharing arrangements unless a new revenue-sharing scheme was established. President Rodrigo Duterte said that the mining tax scheme included in the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act had already met the EO's requirements. The TRAIN Act increased the excise on minerals, mining goods, and quarry services from 2% to 4%, lowering personal income taxes while increasing consumption taxes. Duterte previously stated that the country had only used about 5% of its natural wealth. According to the Australian ambassador, this demonstrated that there was something that could be achieved in the world to assist in its economic recovery. “The Philippines is a natural resource-rich country, and there’s much that could be done here that will really benefit the Philippines’ recovery, and Australian firms know that,” Robinson said. 

Industry

Philippine Resources - May 07, 2021

AC Energy Focuses on 12GW of Renewable Energy Projects

AC Energy (ACEN) is operating on approximately 12 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy (RE) projects, more than double its goal of five GW for 2025, as it strives to become Southeast Asia's largest listed RE network. At COL Financial's briefing, ACEN President and CEO Eric Francia said the 12GW of projects placed the Ayala-led company in a fantastic position to achieve its long-term goals. Solar and wind platforms will make up the majority of the projects it plans to begin in 2021. With 5,200 megawatts (MW), Australia leads the way, followed by the Philippines with 3,400MW, Vietnam with 2,400MW, and India and other Asia-Pacific countries with 900MW. 1,000MW of the 12GW projects in the pipeline are expected to reach financial close in the next six to twelve months, bringing the company more than halfway to its target. By the end of the year, ACEN hopes to obtain regulatory clearance for the influx of foreign funds. The Ayala Group's power arm is maintaining a follow-on offering (FOO) until Friday, with shares priced at Php6.50 per share. “We are grateful for the continued support of our regulators and for the overwhelming response we received from the institutional investors during the book-building process. The exceptional investor support reinforces AC Energy’s position as the region’s leading renewables platform,” Francia said in a statement disclosed to the Philippine Stock Exchange. The FOO is part of a five-step effort by the company to generate Php30 billion for clean energy programs this year. “The FOO completes the company’s successful fundraising efforts this year and allows it to play a meaningful role in the green-led recovery,” Francia added.

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