By Lenie Lectura - March 7, 2017
THE Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) is expected to finalize a financing scheme for a 1,200-megawatt (MW) coal-power plant project in Atimonan, Quezon, by the second half of the year.
“Much of our attention is focused on Atimonan. We are talking to the banks. We hope to do a financial closure by the second half of the year,” Meralco Senior Vice President and CFO Betty Siy-Yap said.
When sought for more details, the Meralco official said in a text message the debt portion of the power project amounts to P110 billion.
Meralco, through its power-generation arm, will construct a 2×600-MW supercritical coal-fired power plant in Atimonan this year.
The so-called ultra-supercritical coal-fired power plant will be undertaken by Atimonan One Energy Inc.
Meralco Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan earlier said this capital-intensive project would require a partnership with a foreign firm to spread any possible risk.
“Most likely, foreign firms—Japanese, Korean. Probably not Chinese,” Pangilinan said.
Construction is expected to start middle of this year, as soon as the company concludes negotiations with an engineering, procurement and construction contractor with the second quarter of the year.
“We hope to start middle of the year, and completion is being eyed by late-2021,” Meralco PowerGen Senior Vice President Angelito Lantin said.
Atimonan One has signed a 20-year power-supply agreement with Meralco on the full output of the power plant. The supply contract is pending approval with the Energy Regulatory Commission.
It has already secured the necessary permits from the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples. Likewise, a certificate of land-use conversion for the resettlement site was issued.
“We completed the resettlement site for affected families. There are about 70 families who used to reside on the location of the plant site. We resettled about 50 of these families. Their house were already completed, and the the turnover of resettlement will be completed this month,” Lantin said.
Meralco President Oscar Reyes said last week a supercritical pulverized-coal station is “the most fully efficient, most environmental friendly technology as far as coal-fired power plants are concerned. It is more expensive, but more efficient”.