By Victor V. Saulon, Sub-Editor

SMC Global Power eyes increased capacity

Posted on August 16, 2016

SMC Global Power Holdings Corp. expects its installed capacity to reach around 3,500 megawatts (MW) by next year when its new power plants in Malita, Davao del Sur, and Limay, Bataan, start commercial operations, its president said.

A coal-fired facility in Sual, Pangasinan -- SMCGLOBALPOWER
“Malita is already testing -- the first unit -- and should be commercially operating by September,” Alan T. Ortiz, SMC Global Power’s president, said in a recent interview.

“The second unit is targeted for the end of this year, but most likely by first quarter of next year,” he added. “That makes it 300 megawatts for Malita.”

The Malita facility is a four-unit coal-fired power plant each with a capacity of 150 MW, although plans for the last two units have yet to be finalized. In all, the Davao project is scalable to 600 MW.

SMC Global Power, which houses the energy business of diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC), is one of the country’s biggest in terms of installed generation capacity.

It looks after three power plants -- a coal-fired facility in Sual, Pangasinan; natural gas in Ilijan, Batangas; and hydroelectric in San Roque, Pangasinan. Their combined capacity is placed at 2,545 MW.

Mr. Ortiz said the construction of the first 150-MW unit of the Limay plant was underway with a target completion date of mid-2017. He said the second 150-MW unit should start operating three to four months after.

Aside from the Limay and Malita plants, the company was looking at building plants in other parts of the country, Mr. Ortiz also said.

“My boss has already mentioned Zambales, Pagbilao, Leyte or Cebu for the other plant sites. But nothing firmed [up] yet. Wala pang financing ’yan. [They don’t have financing yet],” he said, referring to SMC President Ramon S. Ang.

He also said that after the commercial operation of the plants in Malita, the company would focus on the construction of industrial parks in Davao, each with its own dedicated power plant.

In May, Mr. Ang said SMC was planning to build two power plants in Luzon and three in Mindanao, giving the publicly listed conglomerate an additional capacity of 1,200 MW at a total cost of around $4.2 billion.

He said three of the new power plants will be located within three industrial estates in Mindanao that SMC was planning to build. He said each estate would take about three years to construct and could be started as soon as negotiations with landowners have been finalized.

Mr. Ortiz said SMC Global’s power generation portfolio would be “all CFB [circulating fluidized bed], all clean coal units.”

“The challenge is using these new capacities,” he said, pointing out that the Aboitizes, Ayalas and Gotianuns were also targeting to complete building power plants in different areas in Mindanao.

“Mindanao will have a lot of power, so we need a lot of industrial parks and locators,” he said. “If we are really going to push industrial parks, manufacturing, there is a huge demand from China, Singapore, Korea, Japan for space for their factories. If we do it properly, we match them with their requirements, we should be able to accommodate those new capacities.”