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  1. Project
28 May 2021

San Gabriel Combined-Cycle Power Plant, Santa Rita

The 414MW San Gabriel combined-cycle natural gas-fired power plant is located in Santa Rita, Batangas City in the Philippines.
San Gabriel is a 414MW combined-cycle power plant located in Santa Rita, Batangas City in the Philippines. Credit: First Philippine Holdings Corporation.
San Gabriel power plant features an SGT6-8000H gas turbine with a gross power output of 274MW. Credit: CNW Group/Siemens Energy.
The power plant is owned and operated by First NatGas Power Corporation (FNPC), a wholly owned subsidiary of First Gen. Credit: Siemens.

The 414MW San Gabriel combined-cycle natural gas-fired power plant is located in Santa Rita, Batangas City in the Philippines. Developed with an estimated cost of $600m, the power plant is owned and operated by First NatGas Power Corporation (FNPC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of First Gen.

The construction of the power plant began in January 2014, while commercial operations started in November 2016. The generated power is fed to the power grid in Luzon.

In March 2018, First Gen entered a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Manila Electric (Meralco), a distribution utility in the Philippines, for the uptake of the total 414MW power from the plant for a period of six years.

The agreement was made for six years as the power plant is fired by gas supplied from the Malampaya field. The contract could be extended by mutual agreement between First Gen and Meralco on further availability of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

The power plant experienced an outage after a trip in September 2020. Internal investigations by Siemens Power Operations indicated the trip was caused by a fault in the generator of the plant’s Unit 70, which activated generator protection.

The plant remained offline for five months and restarted operations in February 2021, following the successful completion of generator repairs and recommissioning activities.

Development of the plant in the Philippines

The San Gabriel combined-cycle power (CCP) plant is the first of three power plants being developed by First Gen for the larger 1,350MW San Gabriel natural gas power project in Batangas City in the Calabarzon region, located about 110km south of the capital city of Manila.

The site is located near the existing 1,000MW Santa Rita and 500MW San Lorenzo combined-cycle natural gas power plants, both of which are owned by First Gen.

San Gabriel CCP plant design

The state-of-the-art San Gabriel plant runs on natural gas sourced from the Malampaya field off the south-western coat of the Palawan province. The other planned power facilities are expected to use re-gasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG).

The plant consists of a SGT6-8000H gas turbine with a gross power output of 274MW, a SST6-5000 steam turbine, a hydrogen-cooled SGen6-2000H generator and a Benson type heat-recovery steam generator (HRSG), all of which are supplied by Siemens.

The advanced SGT6-8000H gas turbine technology has a proven combined-cycle efficiency of over 60%, which makes San Gabriel one of the most efficient gas-fired power plants in South East Asia. The plant is also equipped with a Siemens SPPA-T3000 control system. Siemens Asset Performance Management (APM) for Power Plants, a solution co-developed by Siemens and Bentley, was implemented at the plant in October 2019.

Financing

First Gen had signed a $265m export credit facility with KfW IPEX-Bank (KfW) of Germany for a 13.7 year period with an export credit guarantee provided by Euler Hermes to partially fund the development of the project in July 2014.

The San Gabriel project was also funded with the proceeds of a company’s $300m bond offering.

Contractors involved

The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract, as well as the operation and maintenance contract worth €395m ($540m) for the 414MW unit, was awarded to Siemens Energy in December 2013.

Siemens built the plant on a turnkey basis, supplying all equipment and construction services. It will also operate and maintain the facility for approximately nine and a half years through its wholly-owned subsidiary Siemens Power Operations.

Philippines power market

Electricity demand in the Philippines, one of the high-growth economies in South East Asia, is expected to nearly double from the current installed capacity of 22GW to around 42GW by 2030. Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao have been identified as the three major regions requiring substantial capacity addition.

The share of natural gas in the total primary energy supply is expected to rise significantly in the future, considering the country’s obligation to limit the risk of climate change. The increasing price of natural gas, however, demands the use of high-efficiency gas turbine technology, such as the one being used by the San Gabriel project.

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