First NatGas Power, a 100% owned company of the Philippine independent power producer First Gen, has begun construction on a 414MW combined cycle natural gas-fired power plant in Santa Rita, Batangas City.

Recently in December 2013, Siemens Energy has won a turnkey engineering, procurement and construction contract for the San Gabriel plant, which is claimed to be the most efficient gas-fired power plant in South-East Asia with an efficiency of more than 60%.

Under the contract valued at around €395m, Siemens will supply a SGT6-8000H gas turbine, a SST6-5000 steam turbine, a hydrogen-cooled SGen6-2000H generator, a Benson type heat recovery steam generator, the electrical engineering and the SPPA-T3000 control system.

Siemens’ Philippine subsidiary will be responsible for turnkey construction, operation and maintenance of the plant for around nine-and-a-half years with commissioning set for March 2016.

"Our vision is to build an additional 1,342MW between now and 2019 right here around where we laid the first spade today."

The 414MW plant is the first of three phases (units) of the broader San Gabriel project, which calls for the construction of a 1,300MW combined cycle power plant.

The company, which will sell the project’s output to the Luzon grid, will initially utilise fuel from Malampaya gas to power the first unit, but plans to use regasified liquefied natural gas in the future, including at the remaining planned two units.

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The approximately $600m San Gabriel project will be financed through an export credit agency-covered loan and the proceeds of First Gen’s recent $300m bond offering.

First Gen chairman and CEO Federico Lopez said 414MW of San Gabriel is really just the first of three such additional plants planned for this site.

"Our vision is to build an additional 1,342MW between now and 2019 right here around where we laid the first spade today. That will bring our total capacity of LNG-fired plants to more than 3,000 megawatts by then," said Lopez.

Image: Architect’s drawing of the San Gabriel CC plant in the Philippines with an installed capacity of 414MW. Photo: courtesy of Siemens.