SMC to tap SK firm on study for 1,200MW peaking plant project

By Myrna M. Velasco

The power investment arm of San Miguel Corporation is eyeing to tap South Korean firm Daelim Industrial Co. Ltd. for an updated study on its planned 1,200-megawatt peaking power plant in Ilijan, Batangas.

A logo of San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is seen at a main office in Ortigas city. (REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco / MANILA BULLETIN) A logo of San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is seen at a main office in Ortigas city. (REUTERS) MANILA BULLETIN)

SMC Global Power Holdings Corporation is looking at two options on how it can concretize its targeted peaking facility – that will be either to convert the Ilijan gas-fired facility upon its turnover to it in year 2022; or the company will put up a new oil-fired plant in that same project site.

SMC Global Power Holdings General Manager Ellen Go indicated that an initial study was already undertaken by Daelim in the past, but that may necessitate an update before the company advances into targeted implementation of the venture.

From a project cost perspective, the SMC power firm is crunching numbers between US$600,000 to US$800,000 per megawatt if a greenfield peaking power facility will be constructed.

Taking off from that proposition, it is seen that for the planned 1,200MW capacity that may fed on diesel fuel, the aggregate capital investment could range from US$720 million to US$960 million.

Peaking facilities are critically needed in the country’s power system especially during summer months when demand experiences sharp increases due to scorching weather temperatures.

As sounded off by the Philippine Independent Power Producers Association Inc. (PIPPA), “the grid needs to address demand spikes that happen around 2.0% of the time in the entire year. This means that peaking capacity is needed.”

The San Miguel group is casting this peaking facility venture along with power projects that will help meet the country’s need for additional baseload capacity over the long-term, including two greenfield power plant developments in Bataan and Quezon provinces; as well as propounded foray into various renewable energy installations.

SMC President and Chief Operating Officer Ramon S. Ang said “our approach to addressing the country’s power needs has always been to maintain a diversified portfolio of traditional and renewable energy sources.”

Alongside targeted investments in RE and the proposed peaking facility, the SMC executive emphasized that the company “will continue to build new clean coal technology power plants.”

He assured that the new builds will be equipped with the latest technologies so their emissions can be kept at minimum, further qualifying that “these are no longer the coal plants of old that burn so much fuel and emit so much pollution.”