Diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is coming clean on its next wave of energy investments, turning it s back on the industry’s old time favorite base coal plants to focus its fresh capital infusion into renewable energy (RE) installations.
“We’re executing on our plans to move away from building new coal facilities, despite new technologies that make them cleaner,” SMC President Ramon S. Ang announced over the weekend.
In a statement to the media, the company executive qualified that their move to abandon coal, is “a company direction that is in line with all the major sustainability initiatives we have undertaken these past couple of years.”
On embracing that investment model shift, Ang emphasized that while its power unit SMC Global Power Holdings Corp. (SMCGP) transitions into cleaner energy sources, “We will not undermine our commitment to meet the growing demand for affordable and reliable energy.”
The company thus indicated that it will be “adding more renewables into its power portfolio utilizing technologies that will significantly cut its carbon footprint while continuously addressing the country’s need for reliable and affordable power.”
“For several years now, we have been articulating our plans to move into cleaner and renewable power, and we would like to report to the public that now, these plans have not only taken shape but we have actually started implementing them,” he stressed.
Earlier cast by SMCGP on its project blueprints had been $1.0 billion worth of investments that will be funneled into 31 battery energy storage system (BESS) facilities that will be developed in various parts of the country.
The company is likewise gaining traction on the implementation of its 1,300-megawatt greenfield liquefied natural gas (LNG) power project that has off-take agreement with Manila Electric Company (Meralco), for power delivery of 20 years that shall commence in 2024.
“The facility will provide power at a very competitive price – cheaper than what modern coal plants in the country currently offer,” the company stressed.
Complementing that will be SMC’s targeted venture into small-scale LNG facilities that it is eyeing to build in about 8-10 islands that will be strategically spread over Visayas and Mindanao – and the overarching goal is to help ramp up electrification undertakings in these domains.
Within the RE investment space, SMC will be pursuing combined developments of solar and hydro installations. Priority in the line-up shall include “solar plants in combination with battery storage facilities at 10 locations throughout the country,” according to the company, and these are targeted coming on commercial stream by year 2023.
“Apart from making sure to invest in key infrastructure projects that will support our economic recovery from the pandemic, we have also made sure that we stay true to our larger sustainability goals by continuing to integrate sustainability into our strategic plans,” Ang stated.
SMC’s transformative investment paradigm in the energy sector is in harmony with its other business initiatives – including decision to discontinue its plastic bottled water venture; and its gigantic foray into cleaning up Pasig River.