San Miguel unit eyes 500-MW hydro plant in Tarlac

MANILA, Philippines – A unit of listed conglomerate San Miguel Corporation (SMC) plans to build a 500-megawatt pumped storage hydro project in Tarlac province, once regulators approve its application for a service contract.

SMC told the Philippine Stock Exchange on Wednesday, August 2, that its unit Strategic Power Development Corporation (SPDC) has a pending application with the Department of Energy (DOE) on the development of Bulsa hydro plant in Tarlac.

"By way of response to the stock exchange, we confirm that, as reported in the aforementioned article, SPDC is interested in developing the 500-megawatt hydro project in Tarlac, subject to the issuance of the relevant governmental approvals and consents," SMC corporate information officer Ferdinand Constantino said in a disclosure.

In May 2017, the DOE approved 3 power projects of SMC. (READ: Meet Ramon Ang, Filipino billionaire and Duterte's friend)

These are the 100-megawatt Nabuangan run-of-river hydro in Apayao, the 500-megawatt Dingalan pumped storage hydroelectric plant in Aurora, and the 400-megawatt San Roque Lower East Pumped Storage in Pangasinan.

More plants

SMC, which owns one of the country's biggest oil refiners and retailers, is set to break ground on its single biggest investment in the Philippines so far: a new petrochemical facility worth $15 billion (P745.46 billion) to $20 billion (P993.95 billion) south of Manila.

Petron Corporation, SMC's subsidiary, has another oil refinery in Limay, Bataan, which it also plans to expand. Petron had earmarked a total of $500 million (P24.86 billion) to upgrade its refinery in Bataan.

Other than the Bataan plant, SMC plans to spend at least $1.5 billion (P74.57 billion) to expand the capacity of its oil refinery in Malaysia to 150,000 barrels a day from 88,000 barrels a day.

Meanwhile, SMC Global Power Holdings holds Sual Power Plant in Pangasinan, Ilijan Power Plant in Batangas, and San Roque Hydroelectric Multipurpose Power Project in Pangasinan.

In the next 5 years, Ang expects San Miguel to triple its income. The conglomerate's net income in 2016 surged by 80% to P52 billion from P28.9 billion in 2015, as most of its units delivered strong growth. –