SMC power unit cementing pathway for carbon footprints reduction

Published July 22, 2021, 7:00 AM

by Myrna M. Velasco

The power investment unit of diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is taking steps into cementing a pathway that will pare the carbon footprints of its projects and business operations.

Alongside recent announcement that it will be dropping its previously blueprinted 1,500 megawatts of coal-fired plant developments, SMC Global Power Holdings Corporation (SMCGP) stated that it will also be aggressively pursuing tree planning activities as well as carbon capture initiatives.

The company said it already planted a total of 2.7 million seedlings and propagules (vegetative structure), as part of the reforestation program that it has been advancing so it can contribute to solutions of the world’s climate change dilemma.

Via the firm’s “Project 747”, SMCGP is targeting to plant seven million trees that will be spread over 4,000 hectares — in at least seven provinces that have been hosting its power generation facilities.

On a yearly basis, SMCGP indicated that it would target to plant one million trees – and that will complement the recently shifted investment strategy of the company that will give premium to renewable energy (RE) installations.

SMC President Ramon S. Ang highlighted that “through massive reforestation, we can help mitigate the impacts of climate change.”

He stressed that “over the past couple of years, we have also been utilizing the best and most modern technologies to minimize our impact on the environment, even as we try to provide for our country’s growing need for reliable and affordable power.”

Earlier this month, the company conveyed that it already completed the planting of 780,214 seedlings – that’s out of the 1.1 million target that had been cast for the year to be planted over a stretch of 256 hectares of land in Zambales, Davao Occidental, Bataan, Negros Occidental, Pangasinan, Albay and Quezon Province.

SMCGP noted planting of additional 320,000 trees will be completed by September this year in the same provinces; and it will also include Bulacan, which is the site of conglomerate’s mega-airport project.

Ang reckoned “this massive tree planting project represents our commitment to environmental stewardship,” with him emphasizing that “with each of our business units pursuing sustainability programs and engaging their respective communities to help out, we can collectively achieve a lot in the next couple of years in terms of meeting our climate goals.”

Beyond RE-targeted ventures, primarily in the solar space, the San Miguel group is likewise gaining traction on its investment-deployment of battery energy storage system (BESS) facilities that could then help not just on the country’s need for reliable power but it can also be a matching technology to the on-and-off generation of renewables.

“Between 2021 and 2022, the company is looking to complete a total of 31 BESS facilities that will not only improve power reliability, but will also make a way for the integration of some 3,000 megawatts of intermittent renewable power into the grid,” the SMC power firm has reiterated.

The other investment focus of the company is on greenfield capacities that will be utilizing liquefied natural gas (LNG); and that will add up 1,300MW in the country’s power capacity by year 2024.