PHINMA Energy defers Sual coal-fed power project

February 2017

On overcapacity forecasts for Luzon grid, PHINMA Energy Corporation has indicated that it shall defer the implementation of its proposed 900-megawatt Sual coal-fired power facility in Pangasinan.

PHINMA Energy President Francisco L. Viray said they are now looking at 2023 to 2025 timeline as to advancing the coal plant project’s construction.

He said this is still aligned with the company’s target to double capacity in 10 years if commercial commissioning could be achieved by 2025-2026. In fact, within that timeframe, the company has penciled in reaching capacity portfolio of just 584 megawatts.

Viray explained that they re-assessed the numbers, and they have seen that “it is not feasible to go ahead with the project because of projected capacity surplus.”

But with the economic growths being aspired for by the Duterte administration, expectations are for energy demand base to expand – hence, it warrants capacity addition again prior to or just at the turn of the decade.

Previously crunched numbers placed the initial investment for the Sual project at roughly $1.0 billion – with plans to start the capacity on a smaller scale, instead of having a single phase of 900MW.

PHINMA Energy’s recently completed generating capacity had been the two-phased 270MW South Luzon Thermal Energy Corporation (SLTEC) project, that is now its three-tiered joint venture deal with AC Energy Holdings of the Ayala Group and Japanese firm Marubeni Corporation.

But while it temporarily stalls its greenfield coal-fired power development, PHINMA may still move headway with its planned 40MW Sibunag wind power project in Guimaras, serving as expansion of its existing 54MW San Lorenzo wind farm in a proximate site.

Viray said they will pursue that once clearer rules are out on the Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) for the RE industry – that is in consideration of the fact that the sector can no longer count on a third round of feed-in-tariff (FIT) incentives.

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