Friday, April 29, 2016

ERC clears FIT incentives for PetroSolar’s Tarlac project

By Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) | Updated April 29, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - PetroSolar Corp. has been cleared to receive feed-in-tariff (FIT) incentives for its first solar facility in Tarlac.
In a statement yesterday, PetroSolar said the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) released on Wednesday the provisional approval to operate as a feed-in-tariff eligible power plant (PAO-FIT) for its 50-megawatt (MW) Tarlac solar plant.
The firm said the PAO-FIT release followed the ERC’s earlier approval of the same during its March 30 deliberations.  
“The PAO-FIT approval effectively guarantees the FIT payment to PetroSolar and the financial viability of our investment,” PetroEnergy Resources Corp. (PERC) president Milagros Reyes said.
“Our team’s ability to secure this critical regulatory approval mirrors the focus and dedication we put in completing the plant’s physical infrastructure in 4.5 months from the start of foundation works, a record in solar farm construction not just in the Philippines but in Southeast Asia,” she said.
FIT is a set of incentives given to power developers to invest in the more expensive RE sector.
In the second round of FIT for solar, developers were given until March 15 to complete and produce power from their projects to be eligible to receive the new P8.69 per kilowatt-hour (kwh) FIT rate.
The current round has an installation capacity of 500 MW.
“With this ERC approval and the signing and execution last April 6 of our renewable energy payment agreement (REPA) with the National Transmission Corp. (TransCo), PetroSolar effectively secures our slot in the 500 MW solar FIT allocation,” PetroGreen Energy Corp. (PGEC) vice president and COO F.G. Delfin said.
“This assures our company and our lenders of revenue from FIT payment of P8.69/kwh from 2016 to 2036. In the meantime, we shall submit this PAO-FIT to Transco for the determination of our REPA’s effective date,” he said.

Semirara Mining, Meralco seal partnership for Calaca plant expansion

By Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) | Updated April 29, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Semirara Mining and Power Corp. has formalized its partnership with Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) for the expansion of the Calaca coal-fired power plant in Batangas.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Semirara said it executed and entered into a joint venture agreement with Meralco Powergen Corp., Meralco’s power generation arm, “for the purpose of owning, constructing and operating a 2x350-MW coal fired power plant to be located in Calaca, Batangas.”
The partners put up a project company for the power plant, called St. Raphael Power Generation Corp., which will build two single units of 350 megawatts each.
Semirara said it has secured an environmental compliance certificate on Sept. 17, 2015 from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Earlier this month, Semirara chairman Isidro Consunji announced the possible partnership with Meralco and Marubeni Corp. of Japan for the expansion phase of the Calaca power plant.
He said the structure of the proposed partnership is likely to be 40-40-20, with DMCI Group and Meralco getting the larger shareholdings.
Meralco president Oscar Reyes said the new joint project will form part of the group’s 3,000 MW target portfolio.
The new power plant will be the second phase expansion of the Calaca power plant, which has an initial capacity of 600 MW.
A new 2x150 MW power plant under Southwest Luzon Power Generation Corp. was completed last year, which is the first phase expansion of the facility.
It started commercial operations last February, originally targeted in December 2015.

Cebu City council junks coal plant plan

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita 2:14 AM April 29th, 2016

CEBU CITY—Applause broke out inside the Cebu City council session hall on Wednesday after the council’s committee on environment announced a decision to reject the proposal to put up a 300-megawatt coal-fired power plant in a densely populated urban poor village here.
At least 100 residents of Barangay Sawang Calero, all clad in black shirts, gave white roses to councilors who did not object to the committee recommendation.
“Now we can sleep soundly at night,” said Marites Busico, 36 and a mother of five children who are among the Sawang Calero residents who burst into tears upon hearing the committee findings.
The committee on environment cited the lack of social acceptance in denying the request of Ludo Power Corp. for an endorsement of the project.
A council endorsement is prerequisite for an environmental compliance certificate.
Nelson Yuvallos, Ludo public relations manager who was present at Wednesday’s session, declined to issue a statement.
Ludo wants to use its 12.6-hectare property in Sawang Calero, covering about half of the entire barangay’s total land area of 24.8 hectares, for the coal-fired power plant. The property used to host a 10-MW power plant which is no longer operational.
The project would be built in partnership with Team Energy, a consortium in the Philippines composed of Tokyo Electric Power Co. and Marubeni Corp. of Japan, which also operates the 1,218-MW coal-fired power plant in Sual, Pangasinan province.
The Ludo plant planned to use pulverized coal from Indonesia, which the firm said would reduce dust emissions in the village.
Ludo also dangled economic benefits to Barangay Sawang Calero and four other villages.
The villages, Ludo said, would get an income share of 1 centavo per kilowatt hour of electricity that the plant would produce.
But residents and environment groups opposed the project, saying it would violate the Clean Air Act and a local law that declared a moratorium on highly polluting projects.
According to the seven-page committee report, a power plant that surpasses a rated capacity of 30 MW is considered environmentally critical.
Unlike the Sual power plant, which is in an area near the sea, the committee said Ludo’s project site is heavily populated.
The committee said its finding on the project “tells us to err on the side of caution if only to ensure the health and safety of our people and the environment.”
The committee said while the four villages—Sawang Calero, Duljo Fatima, Pahina San Nicolas and Suba Pasil—submitted resolutions endorsing the project, they did not present minutes of meetings of public hearings that had been held on the project.
It said City Ordinance No. 1656, or the Revised Zoning Ordinance of the City of Cebu, bans the establishment of power plants in Sawang Calero, which is classified as a low intensity industrial district.
Power plants are allowed only in medium or high intensity industrial districts.

Meralco, Millennium Energy seek to fix dispute

April 28, 2016 8:58 pm  by Voltaire PalaƱa

Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) is trying to patch things up regarding the issue regarding its distribution wheeling service agreement (DWSA) with Millennium Energy Inc., according to high officials of Meralco.
“I need to sit down with the Millennium people because they were out when I called last week,” Meralco President and CEO Oscar Reyes told reporters. Reyes said that both parties would sit down within a week.
Asked if Meralco was willing to help Millennium, “We want to definitely, we would like their facility to be available and find something that works for both parties,” Reyes said.
In a separate interview earlier, Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Zenaida Monsada said that she would like to sit down with both parties separately to fix things up.
But Reyes said, “We can sit down directly with them.  I think the Secretary has more pressing matters so we’ll try to see if we can enter into some kind of viable arrangement with Millenium,” he added.
This month the Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC) deregistered Millennium in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) effective on April 1.
In its notice, Millenium sought for the cessation of its WESM membership following the non-renewal of the DWSA with Meralco.
‘Wheeling’ is when a distributor transfers or allows the transfer of electricity over its network from a generator to a different customer.
According to Millennium Energy, it is disadvantaged because of the exorbitant rates Meralco is imposing under the DWSA.
Millennium Energy owns the two-unit 310-MW Navotas gas turbine power plant at the Navotas fish port, and the 620-MW Bataan combined cycle power plant in Limay, Bataan.
The DWSA is critical to the Navotas plant in particular, as it is connected only to the Meralco distribution grid and not the national grid as of yet.
Millennium has already met with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) in an effort to resolve the dispute affecting its power supply agreement with Meralco.
ERC Chairman and CEO Jose Vicente Salazar earlier told reporters that despite Millennium’s in good faith to tell the commission that the company is losing money and the distribution wheeling charges are too much for them to handle, the company is still responsible for offering the electricity produced by the Navotas facility.
“Since they have the capacity of 100MW, Millennium is obliged to offer this, especially in the summer months. If they cannot dispatch it, then they will be held liable under PEMC rules, because [when] there is a capacity but it is not offered, it has an effect on price,” Salazar said.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

MGen, Semirara to manage 750-MW coal plant in Batangas

Business Mirror
by Lenie Lectura - April 28, 2016

SEMIRARA Mining and Power Corp., the coal-mining arm of Consunji-led DMCI, and Meralco Powergen Corp. (MGen), the power generation arm of the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), will jointly undertake a 750-megawatt (MW) coal-power project in Batangas.

The companies signed a joint-venture agreement (JVA) for the purpose of owning, constructing and operating a 2×350-MW coal-fired power plant to be located in Calaca, Batangas.

The project proponent will be called Saint Raphael Power Generation Corp.

An Environmental Compliance Certificate ECC-CO-1530-0012 dated September 17, 2015, has been issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for the project.

Meralco is already sourcing part of its power requirements with Semirara’s wholly owned subsidiary, Southwest Luzon Power Generation Corp. (SLPGC).
They signed in August last year a power-supply agreement in which Meralco will source a total of 120MW of power from SLPGC. The PSA takes effect from March 26, 2016 to December 25, 2018.

Last week Meralco President Oscar Reyes said MGen would still continue to invest on new power projects, including coal-fired power plants, to meet its 3,000-MW target portfolio.

This despite calls by environmentalist groups to put a stop on coal-power plant production.

The Meralco official said the company is “sensitive” to such calls “that’s why we are working on” other power projects, such as “gas, wind, solar and hydro.”

“Some [existing coal-plant facilities] need replacement. There may be additional new coal projects, depending on how our discussions are going. But we have to see since we want to also have visibility on the gas side,” Reyes said.

MGen has already partnered with local and foreign power firms for three power projects already progressing well.

San Buenaventura Power Ltd. Co., a joint venture of MGen and New Growth BV, a wholly owned subsidiary of Electricity Generating Public Co. Ltd. of Thailand, is putting up a 455-MW coal power plant in Mauban, Quezon.

The project is targeted for completion in early 2019, 42 months from the issuance of the Notice to Proceed.

Another coal project, a 600-MW power plant in Subic, is being undertaken by Redondo Peninsula Energy, a joint venture among MGen, Aboitiz Power Corp. and Taiwan Cogeneration Corp.

The target commencement of construction is within 2016, with commercial operation expected late 2019.

MGen is currently looking for partners for a 2 x 600-MW coal-fired power plant in Quezon. Atimonan One Energy is the project proponent.

The awarding of an Engineering, Procurement and Construction contract is targeted within the third quarter of the year. Target completion of Unit 1 is early 2021.

Reyes said MGen is still looking at 1,000 MW for gas, 100 MW for hydropower and 50 MW to 100 MW for wind.

“In terms of gas, you want to look at around 1,000 MW, which can be phased. For hydro, we’re looking at relatively significant pumped hydro. Aside from that, we’re working on a run-of-river, as well,” he said.

He said MGen would pick partners for these projects.