MERALCO POWERGEN Corp. (MGen), the power generation arm of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), expects to convert its coal-fired power plant project in Atimonan to one that runs on gas by October.

“For the Atimonan [project], the amendment on the ECC (environmental compliance certificate) is ongoing and we hope to convert the coal to gas by October of this year,” said Jaime T. Azurin, president and chief executive officer of MGen.

Meralco has said that its subsidiary is eyeing additional power supply in line with ongoing developments in its project in Atimonan, Quezon province.

“We are still waiting for Meralco’s CSP (competitive selection process) guidelines and hopefully it could happen early next year and that is the time that Atimonan will bid,” Mr. Azurin said.

The company is also considering bringing in partners for the project as long as it will be able to keep a majority stake, Manuel V. Pangilinan, chairman and chief executive officer of Meralco, told reporters.

Meralco, through Atimonan One Energy Inc., (A1E), is working on the development of a natural gas-fired combined cycle gas turbine power plant project.

A1E, a wholly owned subsidiary of MGen, is the developer of the coal-fired power plant. According to its website, the company is building the plant with two 600-megawatt identical units.

MGen has said that A1E has been certified by the Department of Energy as an energy project of national significance, allowing expedited permits and reviews by local and national government agencies.

Meralco’s controlling stakeholder, Beacon Electric Asset Holdings, Inc., is partly owned by PLDT Inc.

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