Cusi to ERC: San Buenaventura coal power plant important to country’s current energy supply

DOE looks into sudden shutdown of Sual coal plant

Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Alfonso Cusi has called the attention of the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) over its unissued permit for the operation of the 500 MW San Buenaventura coal-fired power plant. 

“I wrote ERC and I manifested to ERC the importance of it being online because that supply is necessary to augment the present supply of the country. The ERC needs to act on it,” Cusi was quoted in a BusinessMirror report.

The plant is the first coal-fired power plant in the country to use supercritical technology, which is said to have lower emissions. The project is a partnership between Meralco PowerGen Corp. (MGen) and New Growth BV, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Electricity Generating Public Co. Ltd. (Egco Group) of Thailand.

Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) president Ray Espinosa said the ERC has not yet issued its certificate of compliance (COC). 

Espinoas said that the ERC questioned the water right accorded by the National Water Resources Board (NWRB), which furthered the delay of the issuance of the COC. 

Espinosa added that the DOE has been informed about this, as well as the scheduled maintenance shutdown of other power plants next month.

Cusi said he does not know the reason behind the delay. However, he noted that the ERC did not include the power plant’s COC in the agenda during a meeting.

“It was not included in the hearing last time. I think it was included yesterday or will be included soon….  I just emphasized the importance of that supply. It needs to be acted upon.”

The power supply to be generated by the San Buenaventura plant  will be sold to Meralco for 20 years under a power supply agreement.