SK E&C intends to develop US$2 billion coal-fired power project in the Philippines

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SK E&C intends to develop US$2 billion coal-fired power project in the Philippines

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SK Engineering & Construction (SKE&C), subsidiary of South Korean conglomerate SK Group, has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with the Government of the Philippines to build two 600 MW coal-fired power plants on Luzon island at an estimated cost of KRW2.2 trillion (US$1.98 billion).

The project will be carried out in joint venture with Seohee Construction, with financial support from the Korea Development Bank (KDB). SKE&C anticipates that it will create more than 3,000 jobs.

The power plants will utilise ultra-supercritical technology, which SKE&C claims will make them 15% more efficient, reducing the amount of coal used and the emission of pollutants like sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides and dust by 50%.

Such technology is necessary to get coal-fired power projects greenlit nowadays, as the lack of sustainability and negative environmental impacts of coal-fired generation make projects unattractive to governments and financiers. However, its effectiveness is disputed by opponents of coal-fired generation, as it has no impact on the emissions per ton of coal burned, but instead allows more power to be generated from each ton of coal.

This is SKE&C's second major project announced in the Philippines this month. The company signed another LOI with the government's Department of Energy to construct an LNG terminal with the capacity of up to five million tonnes per year, several LNG power plants with more than 600 MW capacity, and a pipeline connecting the terminal and power plants up to 150km in length.

This LNG project will also be located in Luzon, the largest of the Philippines' islands, located in the north of the country. The estimated cost is US$1.7 billion, a similar investment to this coal-fired power project. 

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