Meralco, Semirara expand partnership, to build plant
Semirara Mining and Power Corp. and Meralco Powergen Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), have added a new dimension to existing ties as they agreed to jointly develop a 700-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Calaca, Batangas.
Isidro A. Consunji, chair of Semirara Mining and Power, said Calaca was the ideal spot for the joint venture.
Presently, the company has four generating units in Calaca, including those operated by subsidiary South Luzon Power Generation Corp. (SLPG).
He declined to comment further on the partnership with the Meralco group, citing nondisclosure agreements.
The two companies said via separate disclosures that they had entered into a JV agreement for the purpose of owning, constructing and operating the power facility.
The power plant will be made up of two generating units, each with a capacity of 350 MW.
The project company for the power plant will be St. Raphael Power Generation Corp.
The two companies said in separate disclosures that an environmental compliance certificate ECC-CO-1530-0012 dated Sept. 17, 2015 had been issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for the project.
The JV agreement effectively expands the partnership between the Meralco group of companies and those of Semirara Mining and Power.
In the third quarter of 2015, SLPG signed a power supply agreement (PSA) with the Meralco group’s Retail Electricity Supply (RES) company.
The PSA was for the supply of 120 MW of power from March 26, 2016 to Dec. 25, 2018 and may be extended up to four years upon mutual agreement of the parties.
As such, Meralco is sourcing part of its power requirements from SLPG, which is the corporate vehicle for the expansion of the Calaca coal-fired power plant in Batangas.
It may be recalled that in 2012, Consunji said he was in talks with Meralco for the power output of Calaca’s 300 MW expansion (via two units of 150 MW each).
Semirara Mining and Power bought the existing 600 MW (two units of 300 MW each) Calaca power plant from the government in 2009 and set out to expand it by 300 MW (two units of 150 MW each under SLPG).
Consunji later said the next stage was another expansion of 350 MW with a joint venture partner “and possibly another 350 MW” of expansion. It is now apparent that those two 350 MW units would be under St. Raphael.
Meanwhile, Meralco’s RES unit MPower is said to be among the biggest players under the developing open access energy market, according to market operator Philippine Electricity Market Corp.
An RES firm can sell power directly to customers as part of the government’s Retail Competition Open Access program (RCOA), which aims to enable consumers to pick their preferred power supply to encourage competition (through improved rates and services) among providers.
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