Calaca coal plants to get upgrade
SEM-Calaca Power Corp., a subsidiary of Semirara Mining and Power Corp., is restoring the energy production capacity of its coal-fired power plants in Calaca, Batangas through further rehabilitation that will cost $150 million to $160 million.
The Calaca facility is composed of two power stations, each with a capacity of 300 megawatts. At present, the facility is producing only about 500 MW following initial rehabilitation works. Sem-Calaca wants to bring it to 600 MW, the plant’s nominal capacity level.
Semirara Mining and Power chair and CEO Isidro A. Consunji said the next capacity uprating will likely take place in 2018 to 2019.
“When we bought it (Calaca power facility) from the government, it was producing 340 MW. Last year, it produced more electricity than ever in its whole history. That plant is 30 years old,” Consunji said. “It used to rely partially on imported coal. Now it’s running 100 percent on local coal and it’s producing more electricity.”
The next phase of rehabilitation will entail the installation of a new generator. This will enable the facility to produce up to 600MW and extend its economic life, Consunji said.
“There is a big lead time. We have to order the generator now as delivery will take about one and a half years.”
The installation of the new equipment will take about six to nine months, Consunji said.
The current Calaca facility was designed to run as a base-load plant to use local coal from the Semirara mines in Antique.
DMCI Holdings Inc., the holding company of the Consunji Group, bought the Calaca plant from the government in July 2009 with a bid price of $361.7 million. Subsidiary Semirara Mining and Power operates the facility through its unit, Sem-Calaca.
In the meantime, Semirara Mining sister firm, off-grid energy supplier DMCI Power Corp. (DPC), is deploying generators with total capacity of 10MW to the islands of Masbate and Palawan in preparation for the May 9 polls.
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