Masinloc power station

From Global Energy Monitor

Masinloc power station is a 995-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station in Zambales Province, Philippines. A further 630 MW is under development.


The aerial photograph below shows the existing plant to the east and the new units to the west, in Bani Barangay, Masinloc Municipality, Zambales Province.

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Existing Units 1 & 2

In 1990, the Philippine government's National Power Corporation (NPC) undertook the Masinloc Thermal Power Project with financing from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Export-Import Bank of Japan. Subsequent local opposition and protests created problems for the plant's developers with land acquisition, resettlement, and obtaining an environmental compliance certificate, thus significantly delaying the project's construction. Eventually, President Fidel Ramos used emergency powers to push the plant's construction through. 198 families were displaced to make way for the plant.[1] In 2011, Masinloc Vice Mayor Jeffrey Bautista recalled that Ramos “had to send troops to control the crowd here.”[2]

In 1992, Father Shay Cullen reported on this opposition, stating that "the people of Masinloc and Zambales don't want this power, the protest against it, they object strenuously that their health and that of their children is to be sacrificed and their land, sea and skies polluted and poisoned. ... They are starting an international letter campaign to Mr. Kimi Masa Tarumitzu and the donor governments of the ADB to get the project stopped. Bishop Deogracias and the entire clergy of Zambales province have taken their stand with the people and have denounced the project as being environmentally unsound."[3]

In Dec. 1993, more than 500 people traveled six hours from Masinloc to participate in a protest at the Manila office of the Export-Import Bank of Japan, calling on the bank to retract its financing for the project. The protest was organized by Bani United Community for Progress (BUCUPI), Sama-sama Laban sa Planta, and the Social Action Committee of Masinloc (a Catholic church group). Mila Umayam, a protest leader, called the financing by the Japanese bank "the second invasion of the Japanese regime." Kazio Sunaga, first secretary of the Japanese Embassy in Manila, stated that they were "urging the Philippine government to have intensive talks with local people" in Masinloc in order to resolve the dispute.[4][5]

In June 1994, the NPC used a "Writ of Possession" to take possession of the land of eight landowners who had refused to sell in order to make way for the plant; the Iba clergy said that the NPC pressured landowners, offered varying rates for their land, and offered land at a relocation site that did not match the value of the land that the villagers had to give up.[6] The project broke ground in July 1994, in a ceremony presided over by Pres. Ramos, while more than 1,000 people, led by Bishop Deogracias Iniguez and Father James Laquindanum, protested outside. Protesters said that they would continue with protests and legal action to prevent the construction from proceeding.[6]

Greenpeace activist Jens Loewe is cared for by other Greenpeace activists after being beaten by plant personnel in a Nov. 2005 protest at the Masinloc plant.

The Asian Development Bank issued its initial loan for the project in Dec. 1994; a 1995 ADB study concluded that "no significant potential health risk will arise from the atmospheric emissions from the operation of the Project because measures have been instituted to ensure that the plant's emissions and effluents will be will within [the standards of the Philippine government's Department of Environment and Natural Resources]."[7] The plant went online in 1998.

After the Philippine government incurred $687 million in debt (much of it from the ADB) due to the plant's construction, the ADB in 2001 gave the Philippine government a $300 million loan in exchange for passing the Electric Power Industry Restructuring Act, which called for the privatization of state-owned power plants. The government's NPC sold the Masinoc plant to AES in April 2007 for $930 million. Critics such as the Freedom from Debt Coalition accused the ADB of profiteering from the privatization of the Philippine power industry.[8]

In Nov. 2005, during a nonviolent Greenpeace protest that was organized after discussions on expanding the plant began, a German Greenpeace activist, Jens Loewe, was hit by a crowbar in the face and beaten by armed guards at the Masinloc plant. Three other activists were also injured after being hit by stones thrown by the guards; the guards allegedly also fired warning shots into the air.[9][1]

Proposed Units 3 & 4 expansion

In 2011 AES Corp. announced plans for a $1-billion expansion to double the existing capacity of the 600 MW Masinloc power station. The first phase of the project would involve the construction of an additional 300 MW coal plant, expected to be completed by 2015. The second phase of the project would construct the remaining 300 MW to go online by 2018, if there was demand.[10]

City officials opposed the expansion. In 2011, Mayor Desiree Edora described the negative effects of the existing plant, stating that local farmers "say their crops have been affected. The fruits of trees, especially mango trees, for which we are well-known for, have been stunted. They do not grow as big as before. Fishermen report less catch." Vice Mayor Bautista stated that, when the plant was constructed, “we knew that it would be bad for the environment as well as ourselves.”[2]

In June 2012, AES stated that it had an “environmental permit in place."[11] As of September 2014, AES was negotiating the engineering, procurement, & construction (EPC) contract with potential contractors; the company hopes to break ground in 2015, and complete the project in 2018. The project's cost has been upped to $1.2 billion.[12][13]

In June 2014, AES sold a 45% stake in its Philippine operations (including the Masinloc plant) to the Thai company Electricity Generating Public Company (EGCO Group).[14]

Construction began on Unit 3 in March 2016 with completion scheduled for 2019. Investors included EGCO Group, AES Corporation and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), in the proportion of 40.95%, 51% and 8.05% respectively.[15] In August 2016, AES selected U.S. firm POWER Engineers as engineering contractor on the project.[16] As of September 2018 Unit 3 was scheduled for commissioning in March 2019.[17] In March 2019 the Department of Energy gave a target testing and commissioning date of July 2019 for Unit 3.[18] Test commissioning of Unit 3 occurred in July 2019 and it was scheduled to be commissioned in October 2019.[19] In December 2019 the DOE listed a Q1 2020 commissioning date for Unit 3.[20] In August 2020 it was reported that Unit 3 would be commissioned in December 2020 and Unit 4 in 2024.[21] In January 2021 it was reported that Unit 3 was operating and that Unit 4 was now being developed as a 315 MW supercritical plant.[22]

Financing for Units 3 & 4

In December 2015, the project reached financial closure after it secured US$525 million in loans from the Development Bank of the Philippines, Philippine National Bank, Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation, and Security Bank. US$175 million in equity is being provided by AES Corporation.[23]

Proposed Unit 5 Expansion

In January 2021, Masinloc Power Partners announced plans to construct an additional 315 MW supercritical coal-fired generator at the Masinloc power station. The project is expected to cost approximately US$890 million.[24] The company expects construction to begin in the second half of 2021, with commercial operation targeted for 2024.[25]


In July 2017, AES announced that it would sell its 51% ownership stake in Masinloc.[26] Potential bidders for the facility as of October 2017 were Meralco, San Miguel Corporation, and Aboitiz Power Corporation.[27]

In March 2018 San Miguel Corporation assumed 100% ownership of Masinloc Power Partners Co. Ltd. by acquiring AES's 51% share for $1.05 billion and EGCO's 49% share for $850 million.[28]

Environmental Impact

In March 2018 members of the environmental group Oyon Bay Protector (OBP) claimed that construction on the Masinloc expansion had destroyed large areas of coral and marine life in Masinloc Bay.[29] “The unauthorized massive reclamation activities of MCPP in Masinloc town must be stopped immediately since they violated several provisions of the national integrated protected areas system act of 1992,” said OBP chairman Joey Marabe.[29]

Project Details

  • Sponsor: Masinloc Power Partners Co. Ltd.
  • Parent company: San Miguel Corporation
  • Location: Bani Barangay, Masinloc Municipality, Zambales Province
  • Coordinates: 15.5638449, 119.9191543 (exact)
  • Status: Units 1-3: Operating; Unit 4: Pre-permit development; Unit 5: Pre-permit development
  • Nameplate capacity: 1,310 MW: Unit 1: 300 MW; Unit 2: 300 MW; Unit 3: 335 MW; Unit 4: 315 MW; Unit 5: 315 MW
  • Type: Units 1-3: Subcritical; Unit 4: Supercritical; Unit 5: Subcritical
  • In service: Unit 1: 1998; Unit 2: 1999; Unit 3: 2020; Unit 4: 2024 (projected); Unit 5: 2024 (projected)
  • Coal Type:
  • Coal Source: Australia and Indonesia[30]
  • Source of financing: US$525 million in debt from the Development Bank of the Philippines, Philippine National Bank, Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation, and Security Bank; US$175 million in equity is being provided by AES Corporation[23]

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Hazardous Masinloc Coal-Fired Power Plant, NGO Forum on the ADB blogpost, Feb. 2, 2008.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Masinloc Folk Oppose Coal Plant Expansion, Philippine Inquirer, Oct. 19, 2011.
  3. Cullen, Shay. Kimi Masa Tarumitzu and Masinloc Power, Philippine Daily Inquirer, July 14, 1992.
  4. Townfolks and Greenpeace Protest Japan Export Import Bank, Greenpeace press release, Dec. 3, 1993.
  5. Erlich, Reese. Japanese Aid Comes With Strings Attached, Filipinos Say, Christian Science Monitor, Jan. 11, 1994.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Bishop, Clergy Lead 4-Year-Old Protest Against Coal Plant, UCA News, July 4, 1994.
  7. Summary Environmental Impact Assessment of the Masinloc Coal Fired Thermal Power Plant Project in the Republic of the Philippines, Asian Development Bank, May 1995.
  8. ADB Told to Stop Pushing for Privatization of RP's Food, Power Sectors, GMA News, April 29, 2008.
  9. Greenpeace Activists Attacked in Philippine Coal Plant Protest Against Climate Change in Asia, Greenpeace press release, Nov. 10, 2005.
  10. Amy R. Remo, "AES to proceed with $1B Masinloc power plant expansion," Philippine Daily Inquirer, September 30th, 2011.
  11. U.S. Energy Giant Remains Upbeat Over Philippine Prospects, Philippine Inquirer, June 8, 2012.
  12. Iris Gonzales. AES working on Masinloc coal plant. Philippine Star, 29 Sept. 2014.
  13. Private Sector Initiated Power Projects (Luzon), Philippines Department of Energy, Sept. 2014.
  14. AES Sells Minority Stake in Masinloc Power Plant and Development Projects in the Philippines to EGCO Group for $453 Million, AES press release, 25 June 2014.
  15. "EGCO Group Starts the Construction of “Masinloc Unit 3” Coal-Fired Power Project in the Philippines," EGCO Group press release, March 3, 2016
  16. POWER Engineers Selected as Owner’s Engineer for the Masinloc Expansion Project in the Philippines, POWER Engineers press release, Aug. 2016.
  17. 2018 Private Sector initiated power projects in Luzon (committed), Department of Energy, Republic of the Philippines, September 2018
  18. PRIVATE SECTOR INITIATED POWER PROJECTS (LUZON) COMMITTED, Philippine Department of Energy, 31 Mar., 2019
  19. PRIVATE SECTOR INITIATED POWER PROJECTS (LUZON) COMMITTED, Philippine Department of Energy, 31 Aug., 2019
  20. PRIVATE SECTOR INITIATED POWER PROJECTS (LUZON) COMMITTED, Philippine Department of Energy, 31 Dec., 2019
  21. SMC plans 2,135-MW power plants, Manila Standard, Aug. 21, 2020
  22. San Miguel expanding Masinloc power plant capacity by 630MW, Power Philippines, Jan. 4, 2021
  23. 23.0 23.1 "Preview of Masinloc II Power Plant Expansion | Transaction | IJGlobal". Retrieved 2020-09-22.
  24. Alena Mae S Flores, SMC Global Power expanding Masinloc coal plant by 630 MW, Manila Standard, Jan. 3, 2021
  25. MASINLOC POWER PLANT EXPANSION PROJECT, Masinloc Power Partners Co. Ltd., Jan. 2021
  26. AED plans exit from $1 billion Philippine power plant, Bloomberg, 18 Jul 2017.
  27. Meralco to bid alone for AES' coal plant in Zambales, Rappler, 3 Oct 2017.
  28. SMC Global Power completes $1.9-billion Masinloc acquisition, The Philippine Star, Mar. 22, 2018
  29. 29.0 29.1 Zambales residents denounce coal plant, Manila Standard, Mar. 23, 2018
  30. Masinloc Coal Power Plant Philippines, GEO, accessed July 2019

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