Green energy group hopeful Meralco will exit Atimonan coal project

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 30) — The Power for People Coalition (P4P) is optimistic the proposed coal-fired power plant of the Manila Electric Company in Atimonan, Quezon will not push through.

This, as an energy consortium pulled out from financing the 660-megawatt Subic coal project which is under Redondo Peninsula Energy Inc. (RP Energy). It is a joint venture between Meralco’s generation arm Meralco PowerGen, Aboitiz Power Corporation, and Taiwan Cogeneration Corp.

"We hope the shelving of the Subic project means Meralco is finally starting to see sense and would soon have more coal cancellations to announce," Gerry Arances, convenor of P4P, said in a statement.

The energy consumer advocate representative said this development should push the Pangilinan-led power firm to reassess its proposed 1,200-megawatt coal plant in Quezon, which is under its unit Atimonan One Energy (A1E).

Arances claimed that the loans of RP Energy and A1E from Ayala-led Bank of the Philippine Islands, amounting to $632.58 million and $1.056 billion, respectively, "did not push through".

Last week, the listed lender said it seeks to cut by half its loan financing for coal power-fired plants in the next five years.

"With this and on top of the deadly, dirty, and costly impacts of coal to people and the environment, there’s no reason why an announcement of A1E’s cancellation shouldn’t be just around the corner as well," Arances said.