Calaca power station

From Global Energy Monitor

Calaca power station is a 900-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Batangas, the Philippines. A proposed expansion to increase the plant's capacity by an additional 700 MW was cancelled in November 2020.


The map below shows the location of the plant, in San Rafael Barangay, Calaca District, Batangas Province.

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The original Calaca power station is a 600-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station owned by DMCI Holdings in Calaca, the Philippines.[1] 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]


DMCI Power Corp. planned to expand the power station in three phases.[6] 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.[7] The expansion was cancelled in November 2020.[8]

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.[6] Construction on Phase I began in May 2012, with completion originally scheduled for November 2014 for Unit 3, and February 2015 for Unit 4.[9] CNEEC is the primary construction contractor on Phase I.[7] In October 2014, DMCI announced that the completion of Unit 3 would be delayed for six months.[3][10] In March 2015, Consunji announced that Unit 3 would be brought online in April 2015, and Unit 4 in June 2015.[11]

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.[12]

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

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.[13]

As of August 2013, financing discussions for Expansion Phase II were ongoing. The target completion date for Phase II was 2016-17.[9] 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.[7] 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.[14] In November 2016, the Japanese Marubeni Corporation took a 20% equity stake in the project; DMCI and Manila Electric would each take 40%.[13]

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.[13] In June 2017, St. Raphael Power Generation Corp. announced that it planned to begin construction of Phases II and III in 2018.[15] In September 2018 the Philippine Department of Energy (DOE) listed a target date of Q1 2019 for beginning construction, and commissioning date of 2023.[16] In March 2019 the Philippine Department of Energy listed Units 5 and 6 as entering construction in the second half of 2019.[17]

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.[18] 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.[19] After the invalidation of the PSAs, Marubeni in May 2019 announced that it was withdrawing from its 20% stake in the project.[20]

The project was cancelled on Nov. 9, 2020 and 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.[8]


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.[21]

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.[22] 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.[23]

Mine disaster

An accident in July 2015 at the Semirara coal mine operations killed nine workers.[24]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: SEM-Calaca Power Corp
  • Parent company:
  • Location: San Rafael Barangay, Calaca District, Batangas Province, Philippines
  • Coordinates: 13.93263, 120.78969 (exact)
  • Status: Units 1-4: Operating; Units 5-6: Cancelled
  • Gross capacity: 900 MW (Units 1&2: 300 MW; Units 3 & 4: 150 MW)
  • Type: Subcritical[2]
  • In service: Unit 1: 1984; Unit 2: 1995; Units 3-4: 2015
  • Coal type: Subbituminous
  • Coal source: Semirara coal mine
  • 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.[6]

Articles and resources


  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. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Iris C. Gonzales, "DMCI seeks partners for Calaca plant expansion," The Philippine Star, February 11, 2013.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Velasco, Myrna. DMCI investing additional P20B for 350-MW expansion of Calaca plant. Manila Bulletin, 5 May 2014.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Meralco, Semirara cancel 700-MW coal plant venture, Manila Standard, Nov. 10, 2020
  9. 9.0 9.1 Private Sector Initiated Power Projects (Luzon), Philippines Department of Energy, 12 August 2013.
  10. Private Sector Initiated Power Projects (Luzon), Philippines Department of Energy, 30 Sept. 2014.
  11. Riza Olchondra, 150-MW DMCI plant set to start operations, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 21 Mar. 2015.
  12. Ozaeta, Arnell. Chinese workers illegally employed in Batangas power plant. Philippine Star, 30 Aug. 2014.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Marubeni taking 20% stake in Calaca coal power plant, Philippine Star, 23 Nov. 2016.
  14. "Meralco, DMCI to build new coal plant," The Standard, July 27, 2016
  15. Calaca Plant Expansion Expected To Start In 2018, Manila Standard, 26 Jun 2017
  16. Private Sector Initiated Power Projects (Luzon) - Indicative, Philippines Department of Energy, 30 Sep. 2018.
  17. Private Sector Initiated Power Project (Luzon), Department of Energy, The Philippines, Mar. 31, 2019
  18. Averting a potential power crisis, PhilStar, Jul. 10, 2019
  19. PRIVATE SECTOR INITIATED POWER PROJECTS (LUZON) COMMITTED, Philippine Department of Energy, 31 Aug., 2019
  20. Marubeni drops bid on $1.4-B Consunji coal-fired power project, Manilla Bulletin, May 14, 2019
  21. Shut down Calaca coal plant, DENR told, Amihan, Jan. 10, 2017
  22. Economic gains, scholarships mute concerns over long-term risks posed by Calaca coal plant, Philstar Global, Oct. 13, 2022
  23. 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
  24. 9 workers dead after Semirara mining mishap, GMA News, Jul. 17, 2015

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