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Monday, April 21, 2014

As Subic project stalls, Meralco banks on tieups with EGCO, Global Power to secure supply

With its maiden power plant project in Subic stalled, Manila Electric Co (Meralco) expects its other joint ventures to move ahead.

Meralco president Osacar S. Reyes told that the company's projects with Thailand's Electricity Generating Public Co Ltd (EGCO) and the Metrobank Group's Global Business Power Corp (GBPC) could be completed ahead of the 600-megawatt Subic coal plant, which Redondo Peninsula Energy (RP Energy) is building.

Meralco PowerGen Corp is part owner of RP Energy.

"We're working with EGCO on San Buenaventura. That's 500-megawatt (MW) gross, 455 MW net expansion of Quezon power plant. GBPC, you know we took up 20 percent interest, they are expanding, and then we're looking at their projects," Reyes said.

The Subic project has been in the backburner since 2010 owing to a number of legal challenges hurled by opponents of coal-fired power plants. Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho L. Petilla earlier said the Subic coal project is needed to avoid tight supply in Luzon by 2016.

Once the Quezon plant expansion is completed, Meralco may opt to secure the output of the facility, Reyes said.

Meralco, through its power generation arm, last year inked a joint venture deal with EGCO for the expansion of the latter's majority controlled 460-MW coal plant in Mauban, Quezon. Construction of the coal-powered facility is targeted late this year.

Meralco likewise bought a 20 percent stake in GBPC, the biggest independent power producer in the Visayas with an installed capacity of 627 MW. Both companies also signed a memorandum of understanding for potential power projects in Mindanao.

Meralco and GBPC however have yet to identify potential projects.

Besides the tie-ups, Meralco is also scouting for power projects that will address peak demand, or demand at that time of day when electricity use is at its highest and usually calls for the use of expensive fossil-fuel based power plants, Reyes said.

"We're also looking at potential for peaking capacity but wala pa specific," he said. is the online news portal of TV5, which like Meralco is chaired by Manuel V. Pangilnan.

- Interaksyon

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