DOE: San Miguel dropped 3 coal power plant projects


SMC Global Power Holdings Corporation, the power generating arm of San Miguel Corporation (SMC), will not anymore push through with its three planned coal-fired power plant projects with aggregate capacity of 1,500 megawatts (MW), the Department of Energy (DOE) said in a letter released by various non-government organizations.

Based on a Business World report, the DOE sent a letter dated July 1 to environmental think tank Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development (CEED), wherein it identified the proposed projects as SMC Global Power’s circulating fluidized bed coal-fired plants in Pagbilao and Sariaya, Quezon — each with a capacity of 600MW — and its 300MW Looc Malabuyoc project in Cebu. The projects were described as “discontinued.”

CEED had searched for information on seven coal plants which were removed from the DOE’s list of proposed plants in October.

The Power for People Coalition (P4P) released the letter signed by DOE Electric Power Industry Management Bureau director Mario Marasigan. 

The DOE imposed the moratorium on the building of new coal plants in October 2020. SMC President and COO Ramon Ang then said that the company is willing to follow government regulations.

Among the coal plant projects that the DOE delisted back in October include San Miguel’s 300MW Malita power plant project phase II expansion in Davao Oriental; JG Summit’s 600MW Merbau coal-fired thermal power plant in Batangas City; and Avesco Marketing Corporation’s 300MW Ozamis coal-fired power plant in Misamis Occidental. The plants’ proponents did not submit the required monthly power project updates.

As for other coal ventures, the DOE is still determining if Orion Pacific Prime Energy, Inc.’s 1,200MW project in Tagkawayan, Quezon should be exempted from the moratorium. The  agency also said that MERALCO PowerGen Corporation is in talks with its lenders to extend the loan facility for its 1,336MW coal plant project in Atimonan, also in Quezon, with challenges in securing power supply agreements.