San Miguel shelves Philippine coal-fired power projects

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Philippine conglomerate San Miguel has dropped coal-fired power projects from its investment plans as it pivots to cleaner sources of energy.

The company's power generation arm San Miguel Global Power (SMC Global Power) has decided to halt development of a 328MW coal-fired power plant in Davao Del Sur, as well as the conversion of the 300MW San Carlos coal plant in Negros Occidental into an LNG-fired power plant.

It has also shelved other proposed coal-fired projects, namely the 600MW Pagbilao and 600MW Sariaya power plants, both located in Quezon province, as well as the 300MW Looc power plant in Cebu.

SMC Global Power said the decision to drop the coal-fired projects is part of its shift to greener power generation, as well as to comply with the moratorium on greenfield power plants announced by the Philippine energy department (DoE) in October 2020. The company will instead focus on developing LNG-fuelled power plants and solar plants connected to battery energy storage systems across the country.

It will continue operating its existing coal-fired power plants, which include the 900MW Masinloc plant in Zambales, the 600MW Limay plant in Batangas and the 300MW Malita plant in Davao Occidental.

The DoE issued the moratorium in an attempt to shake up the country's power mix, which is currently dominated by coal after multiple greenfield and expansion projects came on line in the last few years. Coal accounted for 57pc of the power generation mix and 42pc of the country's installed capacity as of last year.

SMC Global Power is one of the Philippines' largest power generation companies with 4,697MW of installed capacity. Its power output accounts for 20pc of the national grid.


By Antonio delos Reyes

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