Meralco vouches for new coal technology

    The smokestack of the Lin Kou coal-fired power plant in New Taipei City, Taiwan. 
    The smokestack of the Lin Kou coal-fired power plant in New Taipei City, Taiwan. 

    Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) and its power generation subsidiary Meralco PowerGen Corp. (MGen) are hopeful the Philippines will be amenable to the entry of more high efficiency, low emission (HELE) coal-fired power plants.

    The statement came after officials of the companies visited one of Taiwan’s biggest HELE coal-fired facility – Lin Kou Power Plant in New Taipei City which has a total capacity of 2,400 megawatts (MW) from its three units.

    “…We have pioneered the utilization of HELE in the Philippines and that I think we are in the right direction because no less than Taiwan has the technology to power almost 40 percent of their country’s power requirement,” said Litz Santana, vice president and head of external affairs of MGen.

    HELE power plants are classified as either supercritical or ultra-super critical but both are more modern and efficient compared to the majority of currently operating coal-fired power facilities in the Philippines which are mostly sub-critical.

    Ru-Chin Chou, deputy plant general manager of the Taiwan Power Co.–Lin Kou thermal power plant, it is not yet late for the Philippines to adapt the use of HELE power projects as long as proper engineering, procurement and construction contractor is hired.

    The company also assured the operations of such facility is not a threat to the public as evidenced by its low emission levels and the presence of a healthy Bloom Lily flower field inside the premises of the plant in Taiwan.

    “For Meralco PowerGen, it reaffirms our belief of securing our energy and it reaffirms what we’ve been doing for our power projects, we look after our stakeholders not only our host community but our government policy makers including local government officials which are very valuable partners in progress,” Santana said.

    Joe Zaldarriaga, Meralco spokesman, said the company will continue to ensure the high level of service itprovide the Philippines and will approximate learnings from the said event.

    At present, the Philippines has no ultra-supercritical power plant, but has a supercritical power plant with the 455 MW San Buenaventura power project in Quezon Province jointly owned by MGen and EGCO Group of Thailand which started commercial operations only last September.

    MGen is also planning to build the country’s first ultra-supercritical coal plant in Atimonan, Quezon but the project is being opposed by several stakeholders for alleged negative effect to human health and the environment.