100-MW Avion natural gas power plant to come online by year end

By Juzel L. Danganan

MANILA, Sept. 24 (PNA) — The 100-megawatt (MW) Avion natural gas power plant in Batangas, owned by power generation firm First Gen, which is supposed to be the remedy for the loomed summer power reserve shortage is scheduled to be online by the end of the year.

“Avion’s a little late. It will come online by the end of the year,” First Gen president and chief operating officer Francis Giles Puno told reporters in a chance interview.

Puno explained there were delays on the site preparation for the power plant, which was initially targeted to be online in April.

Puno noted the power plant will start its commercial operations early next year.

The capacity of the power plant, however, will be sold through the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) and not through bilateral agreements with distribution utilities.

Avion, amounting to US$ 100-150 million, will be powered by an aeroderivate gas turbine.

Meanwhile, Puno also said the 414-MW San Gabriel natural gas plant will start its operations by the second quarter of next year.

He added the project has an estimated cost of US$ 550-600 million. It was partly funded by a bond offering amounting to US$ 300 million and through a US$ 200-million borrowing from Germany’s Export Credit Agency (ECA).

The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the project, including the operation and maintenance contract amounts to US$ 540 million, was awarded to Siemens Energy in December 2013.

With the two power plants, First Gen’s capital expenditure costs total US$ 700-750 million. (PNA)