SMC to develop more clean coal power plants
San Miguel Corp. (SMC) intends to continue developing clean coal power plants, as well as pursue renewable energy projects and battery technology developments with room still to grow in its power portfolio.
As of end-2018, SMC Global Power Holdings Inc. has an installed capacity of approximately 19 percent of the national grid, 25 percent of the Luzon grid and nine percent of the Mindanao grid, as stated in a regulatory filing.
Under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (EPIRA), no company can own, operate or control more than 30 percent of installed generating capacity (IGC) of a grid and 25 percent of the national IGC.
SMC Global Power said it plans to expand its portfolio through strategic development of greenfield power projects and acquisition of existing power plants.
In putting up new projects, it will not shut its door on coal power plants, particularly clean coal technology, which “remains the most reliable and cost-efficient fuel source for greenfield power projects.”
That’s why it will continue to consider putting up the 4x150-megawatt (MW) circulating fluidized bed coal-fired power plant in Mariveles, Bataan and the 600-MW coal power plant in Pagbilao, Quezon.
These projects – under Mariveles Power Generation Corp. and Central Luzon Premiere Power Corp., respectively – were previously halted after acquiring the Masinloc coal-fired power plants in Zambales province in December 2017. The transaction closed in March 2018.
The Bataan power plant was originally eyed for completion in 2020 and the Quezon power plant for commercial operations in 2021.
The two power projects were also part of the controversial power supply agreements of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), which were filed a day before the extended competitive selection process (CSP) deadline.
Currently, SMC Global is doing final works on the 335-MW Unit 3 expansion of the Masinloc Power Plant – which it acquired from AES Philippines. It has tapped Posco Engineering & Construction, and Ventanas Philippine Construction as engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractors.
“Unit 3, which is envisaged as a brown-field/expansion project within the Masinloc Power Plant site, is substantially complete as of Dec. 31, and is expected to commence commercial operations by 2Q of 2019,” it said.
The SMC power unit is also completing the 160-MW Unit 4 of the Limay Greenfield Power Plant, which is expected to commence operations within the second quarter.
Apart from coal, SMC Global Power is also focused on investing in battery energy storage systems (BESS) and renewable energy projects as part of its objective to operate in an environmentally-responsible manner while considering energy security and affordability.
“The company is focused on further investments in battery technology to add to the existing 10-MW Masinloc BESS and the planned 2x20-MW Kabankalan BESS,” it said.
For the Kabankalan BESS, SMC Global is in the process of finalizing its EPC contract “with one of the leading battery EPC contractors worldwide.”
The DOE has approved the grid impact study for the 16 BESS projects being developed by SMCGP Philippines Energy Storage Co. Ltd., a unit of SMC Global Power Holdings Corp.
SMCGP Philippines Energy Storage Co. Ltd. had also sought for grid impact studies for 16 BESS projects – eight in Luzon, four each in Visayas and Mindanao.
“SMC Global Power also actively seeks to identify and pursue renewable energy investments in hydro-electric and solar projects, subject to the outcome of viability and feasibility analyses,” the firm said.
Last year, SMC president and COO Ramon Ang said the company is targeting up to 10,000 MW of new renewable energy capacity in the next 10 years.
The development of greenfield projects will coincide with the planned improvements in the interconnectivity of the Luzon and Visayas grids, as well as the eventual interconnectivity and implementation of the wholesale electricity spot market in Mindanao.
These will also be strategically locating them in high-demand areas and in areas with the closest proximity to the grid.