Calaca power station

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Calaca power station is an operating power station of at least 900-megawatts (MW) in San Rafael, Calaca, Batangas, Calabarzon, Philippines with multiple units, some of which are not currently operating. It is also known as SRPGC plant.

Location

Table 1: Project-level location details

Plant name Location Coordinates (WGS 84)
Calaca power station San Rafael, Calaca, Batangas, Calabarzon, Philippines 13.932628, 120.789689 (exact)

The map below shows the exact location of the power station.

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Unit-level coordinates (WGS 84):

  • Unit 1, Unit 2, Unit 3, Unit 4, Unit 5, Unit 6: 13.932628, 120.789689

Project Details

Table 2: Unit-level details

Unit name Status Fuel(s) Capacity (MW) Technology Start year Retired year
Unit 1 operating coal - subbituminous 300 subcritical 1984
Unit 2 operating coal - subbituminous 300 subcritical 1995
Unit 3 operating coal - subbituminous 150 subcritical 2015
Unit 4 operating coal - subbituminous 150 subcritical 2015
Unit 5 announced coal - subbituminous 350 subcritical
Unit 6 announced coal - subbituminous 350 subcritical

Table 3: Unit-level ownership and operator details

Unit name Owner
Unit 1 SEM-Calaca Power Corp [100.0%]
Unit 2 SEM-Calaca Power Corp [100.0%]
Unit 3 SEM-Calaca Power Corp [100.0%]
Unit 4 SEM-Calaca Power Corp [100.0%]
Unit 5 St. Raphael Power Generation Corp [100.0%]
Unit 6 St. Raphael Power Generation Corp [100.0%]

Project-level coal details

  • Coal source(s): domestic

Financing

  • Source of financing: Phase I: Henry Sy-owned Banco de Oro Unibank Inc., Bank of the Philippine Islands of the Ayala Group and China Banking Corp., also owned by the Sy Group. BDO Capital and Investments Corp.

Background

The original Calaca power station is a 600-megawatt (MW) coal-fired subcritical power station owned by DMCI Holdings in Calaca, the Philippines.[1][2] Units 1 and 2 of the plant, each 300 MW, were commissioned in 1984 and 1995 respectively.[2] DMCI bought the plant from the Philippine government in July 2009 for $361 million.[3] The Asian Development Bank provided a US$120 million loan to assist with the privatization and refurbishment of the Calaca power station.[4]

In May 2016, SEM-Calaca began a restoration project on the original two 300-MW units of Calaca. The two units had degraded since construction, and had an output of only 500 MW. The goal of the restoration was to bring them back up to 600 MW.[5]

As of May 2023, Units 1-4 were still operating, as listed by the Philippine DOE. [6]

Expansion

DMCI Power Corp. planned to expand the power station in three phases.[7] Expansion Phase I, consisting of two 150-MW units, was completed in 2015. Expansion Phase II-III, was initially planned as two additional 150-MW units; it was later changed to a single 350-MW unit, then to two single-unit 350-MW additional phases.[8] The expansion was cancelled in November 2020.[9]

Phase I

In February 2012, DMCI's Southwest Luzon Power Generation Corp. signed an P11.5-billion loan agreement with three local banks to finance Phase I of the expansion.[7] Construction on Phase I began in May 2012, with completion originally scheduled for November 2014 for Unit 3, and February 2015 for Unit 4.[10] CNEEC is the primary construction contractor on Phase I.[8] In October 2014, DMCI announced that the completion of Unit 3 would be delayed for six months.[3][11] In March 2015, Consunji announced that Unit 3 would be brought online in April 2015, and Unit 4 in June 2015.[12]

At least 600 Chinese workers were found to be working illegally at the Phase I construction site in August 2014, after a raid by a government joint task force.[13]

The Phase I units went online in March and June 2015.

As of May 2023, Units 3 and 4 were still operating, as listed by the DOE. [14]

Phases II & III

Two additional 350-MW coal-fired units were planned, as Phases II and III. The two units would be built by St. Raphael Power Generation Corp., a Semirara subsidiary (which is, in turn, a DMCI subsidiary). The two additional phases would cost $1.4 billion.[15]

As of August 2013, financing discussions for Expansion Phase II were ongoing. The target completion date for Phase II was 2016-17.[10] In May 2014, DMCI announced that Phase II would be switched from two 150-MW units to a single 350-MW unit. The expansion was slated to cost P20 billion ($450 million), with a 70-30% loan-equity split.[8] Later in 2014, an additional 350-MW Phase III was announced, with no planned completion date.[3]

In July 2016 DMCI Holdings entered a 50-50 joint venture with Manila Electric to build the 700 MW phases II and III (units 5-6) of the expansion.[16] In November 2016, the Japanese Marubeni Corporation took a 20% equity stake in the project; DMCI and Manila Electric would each take 40%.[15]

As of November 2016, the consortium was in talks with U.S. firm Black & Veatch to serve as construction contractor. The project was also still waiting for permits from the Energy Regulatory Commission.[15] In June 2017, St. Raphael Power Generation Corp. announced that it planned to begin construction of Phases II and III in 2018.[17] In September 2018 the Philippine Department of Energy (DOE) listed a target date of Q1 2019 for beginning construction, and commissioning date of 2023.[18] In March 2019 the Philippine Department of Energy listed Units 5 and 6 as entering construction in the second half of 2019.[19]

In May 2019 the Supreme Court of the Philippines invalidated the plant's Power Supply Agreements (PSA's) because they had not gone through a competitive selection process (CSP), delaying development of the Calaca Phase II. In all seven plants owned by Meralco or contracting with Meralco had their PSA's invalidated by the ruling.[20] The DOE gave the completion date for the 2 x 350 MW expansion as 2025 in its August 2019 list of initiated power projects in Luzon.[21] After the invalidation of the PSAs, Marubeni in May 2019 announced that it was withdrawing from its 20% stake in the project.[22]

On Nov. 9, 2020, construction contracts were terminated by Semirara Mining and Power Corp., Meralco Powergen Corp. and St. Raphael Power Generation Corp. Meralco's president Rogelio Singson said the cancellation was the result of the DOE's October 2020 moratorium on new greenfield power plants.[9] The project was presumed to be shelved.

In November 2020, the Philippine DOE secretary clarified that the moratorium on greenfield power plants did not apply to coal-fired projects which had already been listed as "indicative" by the DOE.[23]

Although it had been called off by SMPC, Meralco, and St. Rafael Power Generation, the expansion project remained in the DOE's list of initiated, indicative coal projects from 2020-2023 under the name "SRPGC plant" with the listed owner as St. Rafael Power Generation Corp. [24]

A news article in May 2023 suggested that the 700 MW expansion was still being considered for development by SMPC.[25] Despite the 2020 moratorium on greenfield power plants, SMPC's chairman was quoted saying that "the prices being offered in the market makes it better for us [SMPC] to pursue developing new plants like our San Rafael rather than purchase existing plants." [25]

As of September 2023, the Philippine DOE's most recent website update still listed the two expansion units as "indicative power projects," with the following note regarding their development status:

"Commercial Operation is dependent on the completion of the Tuy-Dasmarinas Transmission Line Expansion Project; SRPGC is currently encountering challenges in the negotiations and acquisitions of the rights-of-way for its 11 km transmission line route traversing Calaca, Balayan and Tuy, Batangas; and final project economics is also dependent on competitive bidding result which impacts financing"[26]

The same note remained beside the two expansion units in the DOE's updated list of indicative power projects as of December 2023.[27] The project appeared unlikely to progress, and might have been shelved.

Opposition

In January 2017 a protest organized by SAMBAT (Samahan ng mga Magbubukid ng Batangas) called on the DENR to shut down the Calaca coal-fire plant. "The Batangueños are living through the irreparable damages caused by the power plant for more than three decades now. Their houses were demolished and families dislocated; residents suffer from different illnesses such as lower respiratory tract infections, pneumonia, hypertension and diarrhea; damaged livelihood such as decreased fish catch while many others who depended on agriculture resorted to seasonal and odd jobs like construction worker, household helper, and farm worker," said SAMBAT's chairperson Agaton Bautista.[28]

According to an October 2022 article titled "Economic gains, scholarships mute concerns over long-term risks posed by Calaca coal plant", local opinions of the power station were increasingly favorable. Though low birth weights and other health issues had been increasingly reported by residents of Calaca, interviewees voiced the belief that it was poverty and genetics that were to blame rather than coal combustion.[29] A 2018 article from the Asia Pacific Journal of Education, Arts and Sciences, which evaluated the health effects of coal plant proximity in Batangas City, suggested that community education would be a key component of combatting the hazardous impacts of fossil fuel energy in the region.[30]

Mine disaster

An accident in July 2015 at the Semirara coal mine operations killed nine workers.[31]

Articles and Resources

References

  1. "Coal-Fired Plants Financed by International Public Investment Institutions Since 1994", Appendix to Foreclosing the Future: Coal, Climate and International Public Finance: Investment in coal-fired power plants hinders the fight against global warming, Environmental Defense, April 2009.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Calaca (Batangas) Coal Power Plant Philippines" Global Energy Observatory, accessed December 17, 2013.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Lectura, Lenie. DMCI’s Calaca power-plant expansion unable to meet 2015 online target. Business Mirror, 6 Oct. 2014.
  4. Annual Report 2008, Asian Development Bank, 2008, p. 81
  5. Calaca coal plants to get upgrade, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 10 May 2016.
  6. List of Existing Power Plants - Luzon. Department of Energy, April 28, 3023
  7. 7.0 7.1 Iris C. Gonzales, "DMCI seeks partners for Calaca plant expansion," The Philippine Star, February 11, 2013.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Velasco, Myrna. DMCI investing additional P20B for 350-MW expansion of Calaca plant. Manila Bulletin, 5 May 2014.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Meralco, Semirara cancel 700-MW coal plant venture, Manila Standard, Nov. 10, 2020
  10. 10.0 10.1 Private Sector Initiated Power Projects (Luzon), Philippines Department of Energy, 12 August 2013.
  11. Private Sector Initiated Power Projects (Luzon), Philippines Department of Energy, 30 Sept. 2014.
  12. Riza Olchondra, 150-MW DMCI plant set to start operations, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 21 Mar. 2015.
  13. Ozaeta, Arnell. Chinese workers illegally employed in Batangas power plant. Philippine Star, 30 Aug. 2014.
  14. List of Existing Power Plants - Luzon. Department of Energy, April 28, 2023
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Marubeni taking 20% stake in Calaca coal power plant, Philippine Star, 23 Nov. 2016.
  16. "Meralco, DMCI to build new coal plant," The Standard, July 27, 2016
  17. Calaca Plant Expansion Expected To Start In 2018, Manila Standard, 26 Jun 2017
  18. Private Sector Initiated Power Projects (Luzon) - Indicative, Philippines Department of Energy, 30 Sep. 2018.
  19. Private Sector Initiated Power Project (Luzon), Department of Energy, The Philippines, Mar. 31, 2019
  20. Averting a potential power crisis, PhilStar, Jul. 10, 2019
  21. PRIVATE SECTOR INITIATED POWER PROJECTS (LUZON) COMMITTED, Philippine Department of Energy, 31 Aug., 2019
  22. Marubeni drops bid on $1.4-B Consunji coal-fired power project, Manilla Bulletin, May 14, 2019
  23. Meralco, Philippines mulls ban on greenfield coal-fired, IJGlobal, Nov. 5, 2020
  24. Private Sector Initiated Power Plants: Luzon Indicative Power Projects, Department of Energy, May 5, 2023
  25. 25.0 25.1 Semirara keen on building new coal-fired power plant, Business Mirror, May 8, 2023
  26. LUZON INDICATIVE POWER PROJECTS Philippine DOE, Posted: Sept. 21, 2023
  27. LUZON INDICATIVE POWER PROJECTS, Philippine DOE, Posted: November 20, 2023
  28. Shut down Calaca coal plant, DENR told, Amihan, Jan. 10, 2017
  29. Economic gains, scholarships mute concerns over long-term risks posed by Calaca coal plant, Philstar Global, Oct. 13, 2022
  30. Bacal et al., Health Effects of Coal Plant among Nearby Residents, Asia Pacific Journal of Education, Arts and Sciences: Vol. 5 No.4, 87-97, Oct. 2018
  31. 9 workers dead after Semirara mining mishap, GMA News, Jul. 17, 2015

Additional data

To access additional data, including an interactive map of coal-fired power stations, a downloadable dataset, and summary data, please visit the Global Coal Plant Tracker on the Global Energy Monitor website.