San Miguel to resume Iljan plant operations by April 2023

Ilijan SMC

South Premiere Power Corporation (SPPC), a subsidiary of SMC Global Power Holdings Corporation (SMCGP) of the San Miguel Corporation (SMC), is set to resume the operations of the 1,200-megawatt (MW) Ilijan gas-fired power plant by April 2023, just in time for the high demand during the summer months. 

In a report by the Manila Bulletin, SMC said that the Ilijan plant is undergoing repair words to “improve its fuel efficiency and generation ramp rate,” 

Following maintenance work, the Ilijan plant is expected to restart its operations as a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal.

The plant had been on shutdown since June of this year after it was turned over to the San Miguel group, following the build-operate-transfer (BOT) arrangement from the previous contractor. 

SMC said that the plant went into “downtime mode,” due to the unavailability of gas from the Malapaya Gas field that can be utilized to generate electricity. 

The company noted that SPPC has offered various options to optimize the sourcing of power for the Ilijan facility; either from the allocation of Malampaya gas or liquid fuel to help address the plant’s current fuel supply constraints. 

SMCGP earlier made an offer to the Manila Electric Co. (MERALCO) that it can run the plant as long as it could find gas for the facility to generate electricity. An option being sought is to ask the First Gen Corporation to share part of its purchased banked gas for the Ilijan plant. 

Meanwhile, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) said that it has yet to receive an official communication from MERALCO on the reported termination of the 670 MW power supply agreement with SPPC. 

ERC chairperson Monalisa Dimalanta said that it is not yet clear to them if SPPC issued a notice of termination or merely a suspension “considering that the case before the Court of Appeals filed by the SPPC involving the said PSA is still for final resolution.”