SMC plans more hydro projects

Strategic Power Development Corp., a unit controlled by conglomerate San Miguel Corp., plans to put up more pumped storage hydro power projects with a total capacity of 1,000 megawatts in Luzon.

The company received approval from the Energy Department to conduct a grid impact study for the planned pump storage projects in Itogon, Benguet province.

The projects include the San Roque Upper East Pumped Storage hydropower with a capacity of 600 MW and the 400-MW San Roque Upper West Pumped Storage hydro power.

Strategic Power also received approval to conduct a grid impact study for the San Roque Optimization Hydropower project in San Manuel, Pangasinan that will add another 400 MW of capacity.

The impact study to be conducted with National Grid Corp. of the Philippines will determine the capability of the grid to absorb the additional power capacities.

Records from the Energy Department earlier showed that Strategic Power, the independent power producer administrator of the 345-MW San Roque hydro project in San Manuel, Pangasinan, was conducting “ongoing study and permitting” for the 400-MW San Roque West Pump Storage hydro project.

Strategic Power trades the electricity output of the San Roque hydro facility, while  San Roque Power Corp., the joint venture of Marubeni Corp. and Kansai Electric Power Co. Ltd., operates the plant.

The San Roque hydro plant, designed as a build-operate-transfer project, holds a 25-year power purchase agreement with National Power Corp.

San Miguel won the right to manage the supply contract of the San Roque plant in 2009 with a $450-million bid. The company has been expanding its portfolio of hydro power projects.

San Miguel holds a 60-percent stake in the 218 MW Angat hydro power plant in Bulacan.

San Miguel, through  Strategic Power, plans to establish a 200-MW pumped storage hydro project in Aklan. It is also pursuing a 500-MW pumped storage hydro power project in Aurora province. Strategic Power has sought the approval of the Energy Department for the 500-MW Dingalan pumped storage hydro plant in Dingalan, Aurora.

The project is a part of the company’s plan to develop up to 3,000 MW of hydro power projects in the country, a source said.

San Miguel is currently building coal power projects in Bataan and Mindanao which are in various stages of development. It plans to build coal plants in Cebu and Panay.

The Energy Department approved last year the application of Strategic Power for a 200-MW pumped storage hydro project in Aklan.

The hydro service contract was signed on Jan. 30, 2014. “It’s now in pre-development stage of the hydro service contract,” a source said earlier.

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