Meralco, Thai firm to put up power plant

The wholly owned subsidiaries of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) and Thailand’s Egco group have signed a joint development agreement to put up a 460-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Quezon.

Meralco’s PowerGen Corp. and Egco’s New Growth BV sealed the joint development agreement last Thursday, Meralco said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange.

Under the agreement, PowerGen will have a 51-percent stake in the project, inclusive of rights to assign up to 2 percent to an approved assignee. The remaining 49 percent will be held by New Growth BV.

According to Meralco, the project’s cost is yet to be determined and will depend largely on the final design, specifications and other terms to be fleshed out during the engineering, procurement and construction tender process.

Egco already has a presence in the local energy sector, holding a 98-percent stake in Quezon Power Philippines Ltd., which currently supplies power to Meralco.

The timeline for the coal power project, however, was not revealed. It was reported previously that the partnership hoped to start construction of the facility by June 2014 and begin commercial operations by 2017.

Egco, the first independent power producer in Thailand, is a holding company with investments in power generation and supply. It also provides energy services—operation, maintenance, engineering and construction of power plants—in Thailand and abroad.

Meralco meanwhile has been aggressively pursuing power generation projects, hoping to attain a diversified power portfolio equivalent to 2,700 megawatts over the medium to long term.

It currently has a majority stake in Redondo Peninsula Energy Inc., which is planning to build a 600-MW coal-fired power plant in Subic; and in GMR Energy (Singapore) Pte. Ltd., which has built an 800-MW liquefied natural gas-fed power plant in Singapore.

Meralco PowerGen is also considering an LNG power plant project in Atimonan, Quezon, through a partnership with Japan’s Chubu Electric Power Corp.  Amy R. Remo

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