Published July 12, 2017, 10:01 PM By Myrna M. Velasco
Aboitiz Power Corporation and two foreign firms are reportedly in the shortlist of the final choices that the power generation subsidiary of Manila Electric Company (Meralco) would be choosing from on prospective partnership for the 1,200-megawatt Atimonan coal-fired power project, according to highly placed sources.
Of the two foreign companies eyeing to be part of the coal plant venture, it was hinted that Thai firm Ratchaburi Power Co. Ltd. is one of them; while the other is a Japanese firm but of which identity had remained under wraps.
Meralco Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan previously told reporters that they have “at least four in the shortlist” of partner-choices in the Atimonan project.
He apprised media then that “up to 49 percent (in equity) is under negotiation,” while emphasizing that “Meralco at least will be picking one, depending on the final thinking on how much we should own.”
The Atimonan power project will be under the development charge of Meralco PowerGen (MGen), the generation company arm of Meralco for most of its power plant developments in the Luzon grid. The corporate vehicle for that particular project would be Atimonan One Energy (A1E), Inc.
From that list back in June, it was gathered that the South Korean group had already opted out from the targeted partnership bid in the Atimonan project.
The Atimonan coal-fired power facility will be of two units at 600MW capacity each and will be equipped with the ultra super critical (USC) boiler, the most advanced of such technology type to be deployed in the country.
The power plant venture will command total investment of R135 billion; and R100 billion or 75-percent of the funding component will be infused through borrowings.
Beyond financial closing and award of the planned facility’s engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract, the project would primarily need to secure regulatory approval on the power supply agreement (PSA) underpinning its generation capacity.
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has already given commitment to resolve the supply deal approval in the next three months, with consideration yet to tackle the intervention pleas of some opposing parties.
The project’s advancement to construction could not happen until its PSA is approved, and that could also delay the completion timeframe targeted in year 2021.