Manila Electric Co., the country’s biggest power distributor, is planning to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) power plant in Atimonan, Quezon, as part of plans to help secure the growing electricity requirements within its franchise area.
Documents from the Department of Energy (DOE) showed that Meralco, through its wholly owned subsidiary Meralco PowerGen Corp. and Japanese electric utilities provider Chubu Electric Power are in talks on a partnership to put up an LNG power facility that could generate anywhere from 1,200 to 1,750 megawatts.
Meralco PowerGen and Chubu Electric were given a clearance by the DOE to conduct a grid impact study (GIS) for the proposed power plant. The GIS will be done for the group by the transmission network operator, National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP). The issuance of a clearance also came with a letter of endorsement from the DOE to NGCP.
The GIS will be needed to determine if the electricity to be generated by the proposed power projects could be absorbed by the grid or if the existing transmission lines were enough to transmit the electricity from the power plant to the substations. The study would thus determine if Meralco PowerGen and Chubu Electric could put up its planned power plant in the area it has chosen.
Meralco PowerGen is involved in the proposed 600- MW coal-fired power plant that will be put up within the Subic free port, together with partners Aboitiz Power Corp. and Taiwan Cogeneration. The $1.28 billion project will be undertaken through a vehicle company called Redondo Peninsula Energy Inc. (RP Energy).
Meralco also has another power project that it has shelved in the meantime until the cost has become viable enough to be undertaken by another subsidiary, Calamba Aero Power Corp.
Meralco president and CEO Oscar S. Reyes said in an earlier interview that the company had decided to put on hold its proposed aero-jet fueled power plant in Calamba, Laguna, which would have cost anywhere between $150 million and $300 million, given the price volatility of petroleum products.
Reyes explained that the proposed Calamba facility, which was earlier targeted to generate as much as 300 MW starting in the first quarter of this year, was intended to be a peaking facility and would be using petroleum products to power it.
“Given the high price of diesel, we are looking at an alternative fuel-possibly natural gas-but that means we have to wait for the availability of fuel (natural gas) and the related infrastructure. So now, yes, it is on hold, as we are still in the process of further exploring the availability of the right fuel and the right infrastructure,” Reyes had said.