(EnergyAsia, July 9 2012, Monday) — Through wholly-owned subsidiary Therma South Inc (TSI), Philippines’ Aboitiz Power Corporation has signed several contracts worth a total of US$546 million to build a 300-MW circulating-fluidised-bed coal-fired power generation plant in the country’s southern Mindanao province.

The mix of local and foreign contractors will build the plant in Barangay Binugao, Davao City, and Barangay Inawayan, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur, to serve the Mindanao grid.

The contractors include Formosa Heavy Industries Corporation, and a consortium composed of Black & Veatch and Leighton Contractors (Philippines) Inc.

Under the contracts, Formosa Heavy Industries will design, supply and erect the power block equipment, while the Black & Veatch consortium will perform civil works as well as engineer, procure and construct the balance of plant systems and facilities.

Site preparation activities for the project started last April 2012 under a construction contract with First Balfour Inc.

Commercial operations of the first 150-MW generating unit are targeted to start up by March 31 2015 with the second unit to follow three months thereafter.

According to Black & Veatch, the Therma South power project will generate up to 2,000 direct and indirect jobs during the estimated 37-month construction period.

“Anticipating tightness in the power supply in Mindanao, AboitizPower is committed to do what it takes to build the Therma South power project at the soonest possible time. We have been an integral part of the Mindanao power sector since the 1930s. We will continue to invest in power generation projects to support the growth of Mindanao today and in the future,” said Erramon Aboitiz, AboitizPower president and CEO.

Hoe Wai Cheong, regional managing director for Black & Veatch’s global energy business, said:

“Our focus is to deliver an efficient and world class power solution in the region that supports this important need for critical energy infrastructure.”

Leighton Contractors (Philippines) Inc. has had a continuous presence in the country for close to 20 years, and is a subsidiary of leading international contractor, Leighton Asia, India and Offshore.

AboitizPower is the holding company for the Aboitiz Group’s investments in power generation, distribution, retail and power services. It is a major producer of Cleanergy, its brand for clean and renewable energy in the Philippines with several hydroelectric and geothermal assets in its generation portfolio and also has fossil-fired power plants located across the country.