SMC unit plans 300-MW hydro plant in Aklan

A UNIT of SMC Global Power Holdings Corp. is planning to build a 300-megawatt (MW) pumped-storage hydro power plant in Malay, Aklan to provide the Visayas with reserve power, according to documents from the Environment department.

In its project description, Strategic Power Development Corp. said that the pumped-storage facility, which will operate along the Nabaoy and Imbaroto rivers, aims to supply “a portion of the renewable energy requirement to the Visayas grid particularly during peak hours.”

“This will also contribute to the stabilization of the Visayas grid by providing ancillary services and peaking power,” the firm added.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said on its website that it would hold a public scoping for the planned facility via Zoom on July 28 as part of its environmental impact assessment process.

Strategic Power’s planned hydro project will consist of two dams or reservoirs, power waterways, and an underground powerhouse that can be reached through a 577-meter access tunnel.

The SMC Global Power wholly owned subsidiary said that the project’s construction is expected to generate employment and livelihood opportunities for locals.

It said that host communities living in the area also stand to benefit from the operations of the pumped-storage hydro plant as they will receive a portion of power sales — or one centavo per kilowatt-hour — in line with Republic Act No. 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001.

In 2014, the Energy department awarded a hydro service contract to Strategic Power, allowing it to develop the hydro facility.

SMC Global Power’s parent firm San Miguel Corp. (SMC) recently dropped “clean” coal power plant projects with a combined capacity of 1,500 MW as the firm detailed its plans to add more renewable energy in its portfolio.

Listed conglomerate San Miguel reported a first-quarter attributable net income to its parent of P9.30 billion, a reversal from its attributable net loss of P1.27 billion incurred in the same period last year as the economy slowly picked up.

Shares of San Miguel in the local bourse shed 1.10% or P1.3 to finish at P116.70 apiece on Tuesday. — Angelica Y. Yang

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