Pow­er­ing the fu­ture and trans­form­ing com­mu­ni­ties

Business World - - SPECIAL FEATURE - By Rom­sanne R. Or­tiguero

A WHOLLY- OWNED sub­sidiary of the Manila Elec­tric Com­pany (Mer­alco), the largest elec­tric dis­tri­bu­tion util­ity in the Philip­pines, Mer­alco Pow­erGen Corp. (MGen) was in­cor­po­rated in 2010 with the aim to en­sure ad­e­quate, re­li­able and cost- com­pet­i­tive sup­ply for elec­tric­ity con­sumers.

MGen’s plans are cen­tered around sta­teof-the-art power gen­er­a­tion projects, us­ing pi­o­neer­ing high ef­fi­ciency, low emis­sion (HELE) tech­nol­ogy.

The com­pany is build­ing the coun­try’s first 455- MW su­per­crit­i­cal coal-fired power project in Mauban, Que­zon through San Bue­naven­tura Power Ltd. Co., its joint ven­ture with Thai­land’s Elec­tric­ity Gen­er­at­ing Com­pany.

MGen, through Ati­mo­nan One En­ergy, Inc., will also build a big­ger 1200- MW plant in Ati­mo­nan, Que­zon. The ul­tra su­per­crit­i­cal coal plant will be the first of its kind in the Philip­pines and will be the most effi cient when it starts com­mer­cial op­er­a­tions.

“We’re not just do­ing con­ven­tional coal plants. What MGen has de­cided is to go into what we re­fer to as high ef­fi­ciency, low emis­sion tech­nol­ogy. If you will com­pare the plants we have in mind in terms of car­bon diox­ide emis­sions, we’re much, much lower than all ex­ist­ing plants in the coun­try,” Ro­ge­lio L. Sing­son, MGen pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, told Busi­nessWorld in an in­ter­view.

“With these plants, you’re able to gen­er­ate more power with less fuel in­put, there­fore, less emis­sion,” added Mr. Sing­son, un­der­scor­ing that as a re­spon­si­ble power com­pany, MGen is ob­serv­ing strong en­vi­ron­men­tal stew­ard­ship and strictly com­plies with the lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional en­vi­ron­men­tal stan­dards.

Amid con­cerns on cli­mate change, MGen aims to set an ex­am­ple that will demon­strate that the Philip­pines does not have to choose be­tween af­ford­able and re­li­able elec­tric­ity or a cleaner en­vi­ron­ment.

Mr. Sing­son em­pha­sized that MGen is also con­sid­er­ing ma­jor re­new­able en­ergy projects to have a di­ver­si­fied power gen­er­a­tion port­fo­lio.

“We also have to un­der­stand that cli­mate change is real so we have to start look­ing into low emis­sions and more ef­fi­cient re­new­ables,” he said.

As of now, ac­cord­ing to Mr. Sing­son, MGen is look­ing at de­vel­op­ments and trends in re­new­able en­ergy sec­tor, in­clud­ing so­lar and bat­tery stor­age, hy­dropower and wind.

“We’re se­ri­ously look­ing in what way we can play a ma­jor role in the re­new­ables mar­ket. At the end of the day, we can­not be de­pen­dent on one fuel source. We’ve seen the pre­dic­tions — re­new­ables could po­ten­tially eat up to 35% of the Mer­alco mar­ket,” Mr. Sing­son said.

He added, “Do we al­low other play­ers to dis­rupt or do we also join the dis­rup­tion? And the de­ci­sion is we will get in­volved.”

While MGen has a line- up of promis­ing projects to build and op­er­ate power plants, the com­pany is also fac­ing chal­lenges when it comes to the ap­proval of its power sup­ply agree­ments ( PSA), which is a re­quire­ment be­fore the com­pany starts con­struc­tion of its power plants.

“The big­gest chal­lenge fac­ing MGen at the mo­ment is the de­lay in the ap­proval of its PSAs by the En­ergy Reg­u­la­tory Com­mis­sion. The de­lay in PSA ap­proval is pre­vent­ing the com­pany from con­struct­ing these vi­tal in­fras­truc­ture projects that are needed to se­cure the coun­try’s power sup­ply in the next four to five years,” Mr. Sing­son said.

But de­spite the chal­lenge, MGen re­mains com­mit­ted in build­ing power plants that will sup­port the coun­try’s growth tra­jec­tory.

It as­pires to set a stan­dard of ex­cel­lence not only in power plant op­er­a­tions but also in de­vel­op­ing and en­gag­ing host com­mu­ni­ties to make them pro­gres­sive and sus­tain­able.

“MGen is com­mit­ted to the de­vel­op­ment of power projects and the trans­for­ma­tion of our host com­mu­ni­ties into pro­gres­sive, sus­tain­able and smart com­mu­ni­ties,” Mr. Sing­son said.

For the town of Ati­mo­nan, for in­stance, the com­pany al­ready en­gaged a third party ur­ban plan­ning ex­pert to de­velop a Com­pre­hen­sive Land Use Plan that will pre­pare the mu­nic­i­pal­ity in han­dling and uti­liz­ing the fi­nan­cial re­sources that it will get from the project.

“Where we are, the com­mu­nity should de­velop with us. It’s re­ally to trans­form the com­mu­nity host­ing the plant,” Mr. Sing­son added, shar­ing the com­pany’s vi­sion un­der his new lead­er­ship.

“As we work on this, MGen will con­tinue driv­ing the de­vel­op­ment ad­vanced power projects to com­ple­tion and com­mer­cial op­er­a­tions, to fur­ther boost avail­able sup­ply in the coun­try.”

FOR­MER Pub­lic Works sec­re­tary Ro­ge­lio L. Sing­son cur­rently leads Mer­alco Pow­erGen Corp. as pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer. He for­mally as­sumed the post on Oct. 1, 2017.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.