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SMC to build $600-m coal plant

SMC Global Power Holdings Corp., the energy arm of conglomerate San Miguel Corp., on Tuesday disclosed a plan to construct a 300-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Panay at a cost of $600 million.

SMC Global Power chairman Ramon Ang told reporters a new power plant would reduce the cost of electricity in Panay, which is suffering from high power rates of P6 to P8 per kilowatt-hour.

“We want to put up a power plant in Panay because we want to supply electricity in Iloilo because power prices are high there,” Ang said.  Panay island consists of the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz and Iloilo.

He said SMC Global Power could put up the 300-MW circulating fluidized bed or clean coal facility in two and half to three years, at a cost of $2 million per megawatt.

“Can you imagine if we can sell power at P3.20 or P3.30 per kWh,” Ang said. He said power from Panay could be exported to Cebu and make cheaper power available to Visayas consumers.

Data from the Energy Department showed that power demand in the Visayas would increase 7 percent in 2015 and 8 percent, annually from 2016 to 2020.

Ang said SMC Global Power would also put up a 300-MW power plant in Cebu.

He said the two power plants may be jointly offered to contractors for engineering, procurement and construction.

He said the 300-MW Malita coal plant in Davao and the 300-MW Limay coal project in Bataan were on track for completion next year.

“We can expand Malita to 600 MW. Limay, the first 300-MW will be completed in 2016,” Ang said.

SMC Global earlier received an approval to conduct a grid impact study for its coal projects, including the 600-MW coal plant in Malabuyoc, Cebu; 600-MW coal plant in Batangas City; and 600-MW coal plant in Mariveles, Bataan.

Strategic Power Development Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of SMC Global Power, is also pursuing at least three pumped storage hydro projects.

Strategic Power currently trades the capacity of the 345-MW San Roque multipurpose hydroelectric power plant in Batangas.

Strategic Power won the bidding as the independent power producer administrator of San Roque in 2009 with an offer of $450 million.

San Miguel also trades the capacities of the Sual coal plant in Pangasinan and the Ilijan natural gas power facility in Batangas.

San Miguel also forayed into power distribution by taking over the operations of the Albay Electric Cooperative.

The company together with Korea Water Resources Corp. manages the 218-MW Angat hydro power plant in Bulacan.

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