President Rodrigo Roa Duterte led the switch-on celebration Wednesday of the 500-megawatt coal-fired power plant of San Buenaventura Power Ltd Co. (SBPL) that will provide additional energy supply to the Luzon grid and boost the administration’s Build, Build, Build infrastructure program.
Wednesday’s event followed a ceremonial inauguration of the project at the company’s power plant in Mauban, Quezon on October 15.
In his speech during the gathering at the Bonifacio Global City, President Duterte made an assurance that, as the government looks forward to the future of power generation in the Philippines, his administration remains committed to the use of clean energy to drive the country’s growth.
“Let me assure our partners in the private sector that this administration remains committed in harnessing the potential of sustainable and renewable energy in driving the growth of our economy,” he said.
“Let me therefore take this opportunity to encourage everyone, especially the people behind San Buenaventura Power, to look especially behind the aspect of power generation. And always keep in mind that beyond profits, your primary objective is to provide reliable and affordable electricity to our people.”
The President directed relevant government agencies, especially the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Energy (DOE) to remain vigilant in monitoring the compliance of power generation companies with existing laws and regulations.
He asked the private sector to follow the lead of San Buenaventura Power by investing in the generation of clean energy.
With substantial reforms carried out by the administration in the past three years, President Duterte assured private businesses that they can pursue more effective and efficient business strategies as long as they commit to protecting the environment and ensuring the welfare of host communities.
He then expressed his gratitude to San Buenaventura Power for its investment that provides energy security in Luzon.
“Let me thank you for increasing the capacity of our energy sector to meet the growing electricity demand in Luzon. With your help, I am confident that we can chart a better future for the power industry as we march towards a more sustainable and progressive future,” he said.
SBPL’s P56.2-billion supercritical coal-power plant is the first of its kind in the Philippines. The plant uses high efficiency, low emission (HELE) coal technology that allows it to operate at increasingly high temperatures and pressures to reach higher efficiencies while significantly reducing harmful emissions.
Similar coal plant technologies have been the choice for new commercial coal-fired plants in many countries around the world. Pioneering the technology in the Philippines, SBPL sets the bar higher in operating coal plants in the country.
Aside from ensuring steady supply of electricity in Luzon, the coal-fired plant is also expected to have multiplier effect in the local community as it creates more businesses and job opportunities.
The plant’s operation is seen to stimulate growth by boosting local businesses and allowing the local government in Quezon to collect more business taxes.
In compliance with the government’s energy regulation, SBPL also allocates fund for the development, electrification, and watershed protection of the host communities.
The company vows to support development projects in Mauban, Quezon by providing livelihood, education, and health and environment protection through its corporate social responsibility.
SBPL is a limited partnership between Meralco PowerGen (MGen), Meralco’s power generation arm, and New Growth BV. New Growth is a wholly owned subsidiary of Electricity Generating Company of Thailand (EGCO).
EGCO, which has been operating in the Philippines’ energy sector for over 20 years, is the first independent power producer in Thailand. State-owned Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) is its controlling shareholder.
Other attendees were top officials from the Department of Energy (DOE), Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), local officials, diplomatic corps, and executives from Meralco, MGen, and EGCO. PND