Meralco eyes perks for Subic plant

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MANILA, Philippines—Electricity retailer Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) is seeking tax perks from the Board of Investments (BOI) for its P55-billion coal-fired power plant project in Subic.

Applying for similar incentives for its Atimonan liquefied natural gas project in Quezon will be considered depending on the outcome of ongoing studies, officials said.

Meralco, which is pursuing electricity generation to secure power requirements amid demand growth in the areas it serves, is undertaking such projects through subsidiary Meralco Powergen Corp.

The Subic power project is being pursued with Aboitiz Power and Taiwan Cogeneration Corp. while the Atimonan project in Quezon province is being developed in partnership with Chubu Electric Power Co. Inc. of Japan.

Trade Undersecretary Cristino Panlilio said in a phone interview that the BOI was studying Meralco’s application for the power project in Subic.

Should BOI grant its application, the Subic enterprise will be exempted from paying income taxes for four years from the start of commercial operations.

“As for the Atimonan project, seeking tax perks has not been considered pending the completion of the (grid impact) study, which will determine if the prospective power plant can be put up,” Meralco Powergen said.

The proposed LNG power facility is said to be able to generate 1,200 to 1,750 megawatts.

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