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19 March 2010

Philippines: San Miguel to expand power generation business

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Diversifying conglomerate San Miguel Corp. is aggressively expanding its power generation business by putting up a number of greenfield coal power plants, as well as acquiring more state-owned power assets over the next few years, reported the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

In particular, San Miguel is keen on acquiring more coal-rich sites in General Santos in South Cotabato to further ramp up the generating capacities of its planned coal power plants, according to company president Ramon S. Ang.

He earlier revealed San Miguel’s plans to put up a 300-MW minemouth coal power plant in General Santos, following the acquisition of a coal mine from Daguma Agro Minerals Inc.

A 300-MW coal facility would need about 750,000 tons of coal a year, Ang said.

On Wednesday, Ang said in a briefing that the former Daguma Agro coal mine appeared to have “very good potential” after it was reported that the coal reserves at the site were estimated at about 800 million tons.

The coal reserves, capable of generating up to 2,000 MW, may be “good for 50 years,” Ang said.

Although he did not reveal San Miguel’s planned investment in the facility, Ang had said the conglomerate would invest as much as $1 million to produce one megawatt from coal resources. This meant that for the initial 300-MW project, San Miguel would need to invest some $300 million or about 13.5 billion peso.

Ang said San Miguel would also acquire nearby coal concessions and had already begun negotiating with prospective coal owners, including those who own Sultan Coal.

Apart from the coal power plants in Mindanao, San Miguel may likewise acquire coal mines in the Negros province, where it plans to put up another 300-MW power plant.



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