Power plant’s second unit faces snag on travel woes

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GNPower Mariveles — GNPOWER.COM.PH

By Angelica Y. Yang, Reporter

THE management of GNPower Dinginin Ltd. Co. (GNPD) said the timeline of the second unit of its 1,336-megawatt (MW) supercritical coal-fired power plant in Bataan had been further pushed back due to travel restrictions, with commercial operations now slated to begin in the third quarter of 2022.

“Commercial operations for GNPD unit 2 [are expected to begin in the]3Q 2022. Challenges [were]experienced due to travel restriction due to the pandemic, affecting the travel authorizations of foreign experts and personnel,” GNPD Vice-President Roberto B. Racelis, Jr. told BusinessWorld in an e-mail over the weekend.

Aboitiz Power Corp., whose subsidiary Therma Power, Inc. is one of the joint venture partners of GNPD, earlier said that unit 2 is targeted to be ready for commissioning by March of next year. GNPD has two units with an identical capacity of 668 MW each.

Meanwhile, the plant’s unit 1, which is currently undergoing testing and commissioning, is scheduled to go online by the fourth quarter this year, Mr. Racelis said.

Two months ago, Senator Sherwin T. Gatchalian pointed out delays in the commercial launches of 27 committed power projects with a total capacity of 2,045 MW since 2016. He mentioned GNPD’s unit 1 as one of the facilities that have been delayed for five times.

Committed plants are facilities that have attained financial closing with investors or bankers.

GNPD achieved financial closing in 2015 and started building its first unit a year later.

On its website, GNPD is referred to as the largest coal-fired power plant to be built in the country and has contracts with 30 distribution utilities and two retail electricity suppliers.