San Miguel building more LNG power plants


San Miguel Corporation (SMC) looks forward to build more liquified natural gas (LNG) power plants with a total capacity of over 5,000 megawatts (MW) in the coming years, its President and CEO Ramon Ang recently said.

SMC Global Power Holdings Corporation, the conglomerate’s power generation arm, recently issued senior capital securities worth US$400 million (Php19.3 billion) listed at the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Ltd. on October 22. The net proceeds will be used to fund the company’s LNG-related capital expenditures, investments, and assets among others.

Ang said his power firm plans to initially build a line of three 850-MW LNG-fired generators, for a total of 2,550 MW, which can then be doubled.

South Premiere Power Corporation (SPPC), a subsidiary of SMC Global Power, is the independent power producer administrator (IPPA) of the 1,200 MW Ilijan natural gas power plant in Batangas. SPPC is expected to own the plant following the expiration of its IPPA contract with the government in 2022.

Ilijan will also serve as the site of the new LNG plants.

Ang claimed that the first 850 MW will be operational by 2022. It will offer the upcoming facility in the Manila Electric Company’s (MERALCO) competitive selection process for its 1,800 MW power supply contract in 2024 and 2025. 

SMC Global Power earlier stated its plans to build an LNG receiving terminal with the Atlantic Gulf & Pacific Company. The facility is targeted to be opened in 2022.

Natural gas accounts for a fifth of the country’s energy supply, all of which come from the Malampaya gas field in Palawan. Malampaya’s resources are expected to be depleted between 2024 and 2027. SMC is currently in a three-way battle with the MVP Group of Manny V. Pangilinan and Udenna Corporation of Dennis Uy for the 45% stake of Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. The government targets LNG importation as an alternative.

Ang also recently announced that SMC subsidiary Petron is closing its oil refinery in Limay, Bataan “very soon.” It also has dropped its plan to build coal-fired plants following the Department of Energy’s new moratorium on the construction of new coal facilities.