Construction to start next year
By Francis Allan L. Angelo
THE PROPOSED 200-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Concepcion, Iloilo is on track in time for calls to put up additional electricity sources in the light of the acute power shortage in Mindanao.
Iloilo Provincial Administrator Raul N. Banias said he met with top officials of Palm Concepcion Power Corp. (PCPC) in Metro Manila to discuss development status of the proposed coal-fired power plant project.
A former mayor of Concepcion, Banias was instrumental in helping DM Consunji, Inc. (DMCI) Power Corp., the original proponent of the plant, in getting public acceptance for the power plant.
Although the Department of Environment and Natural Resources already issued and environmental compliance certificate (ECC) to the project sometime in 2007, DMCI did not initiate construction after failing to secure power supple agreements with distribution utilities in Western Visayas.
In November 2010, A. Brown Co., Inc. (ABCI), through subsidiaries Palm Thermal Consolidated Holdings Corp. and Panay Consolidated Holdings Corp., bought DMCI Power Corp.’s proposed coal-fired power plant in Concepcion. The new owners then formed subsidiary PCPC to spearhead the future construction and operation of the plant.
ABCI is the investment arm of businessman Walter Brown which is primarily engaged in the business of real estate development but has interests in power, property development and investments in other companies.
In February 2012, A. Brown announced that it has tapped BDO Capital and Investment Corp. to arrange the project debt financing requirements of the Concepcion coal plant.
ABCI said it plans to spend $200 million or roughly P8.5 billion for the project. Phase one of the power plant will be commissioned in the third quarter of 2015 while the second phase will go online in the fourth quarter of 2016.
With this development, the Department of Energy (DOE) has reclassified the Concepcion project from “indicative” to “committed”, which allows the proposed plant to be listed among the projects that will be constructed next year.
The energy department said the PCPC project will be finished in time for the projected power supply shortage in Visayas in 2015 “given the target commissioning of your project are by 3rd quarter of 2015 (phase I) and November 2016 (phase II).”
Banias said PCPC is set to have its financial closure next month aside from evaluating the Engineering Procurement and Conception (EPC) proposals of firms that bid for the construction of the project.
ABCI also tapped Canadian construction firm SNC-Lavalin Inc. for the plant’s engineering works.
SNC-Lavalin is global leader in engineering and construction in the fields of hydroelectric, nuclear and thermal power generation, power system studies, power sector reform, transmission and distribution projects.
SNC-Lavalin will provide detailed engineering that will include review and evaluation of EPC specifications, system’s design parameters and operating features and development of conceptual layouts, among others.