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Duterte opens $1-billion power plant

Pagbilao, Quezon―President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday led the inauguration of the newly completed 420-megawatt unit 3 of Pagbilao coal-fired power project that will help augment Luzon’s power supply.

The nearly $1-billion merchant power plant will also generate billions of pesos in taxes for the national and local governments in the coming years, the company behind the project said.

“The completion of this project establishes Pagbilao Energy Corp.’s partnership with government in pushing the nation’s progress through a cost-effective and reliable power plant that complies with environmental standards,” said PEC chairman Antonio Moraza.

PEC is a joint venture of TPEC Holdings Corp. and Therma Power Inc., which are in turn wholly-owned subsidiaries of TeaM Energy Corp. of Japan and Aboitiz Power Corp., respectively. 

TEC, the joint venture of Tokyo Electric Power Co. and Marubeni Corp., currently operates the existing 735-MW Pagbilao coal plant. 

“The growth of the Philippine economy under the administration of President Duterte will certainly translate to a rising demand for energy in the coming years. This project will help address the country’s development needs moving forward,” said PEC president John Alcordo.

The coal-fired facility will be equipped with a flue-gas desulfurizer and is designed to ensure compliance with all pertinent environmental rules and regulations, PEC said.

“We view this project as an investment in the country’s future. This will light up homes and industries, give comfort to families, enable productivity and help create employment for Filipinos,” said Alcordo, who is also chairman and chief executive of TEC, the single largest Japanese investor in the Philippines.

The newly-built power facility was developed and constructed at a cost of $976 million. Construction began in December 2014. It is located within the same complex and is adjacent to the existing units 1 and 2, of the Pagbilao Power Station operated by TEC. Units 1 and 2 have a total generating capacity of 735 MW.  

“We believe this project is a testament that Epira [Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001] is working. The Philippine power industry has been transformed from a monopolized, politicized and heavily subsidized structure, to one that is competitive and bearing the true cost of power, allowing the government to channel their resources to other social services. It is a truly herculean effort that we can be proud of,” Aboitiz Power chairman Erramon Aboitiz said.

PEC signed an omnibus agreement to finance the construction of the Pagbilao Unit 3 project.  

PEC secured P33.3 billion in debt financing through the joint lead arrangers composed of BDO Capital and Investment Corp., BPI Capital Corp. and First Metro Investment Corp.  

Topics: President Rodrigo Duterte , Pagbilao Energy Corp. , Antonio Moraza , Tokyo Electric Power Co.
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