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Interview: Dan Neil, Senior Vice President of MERALCO Power Generation

Dan describes his experience working for a major power generation company in the Philippines, shares tips for people looking to do business in the country and provides an analysis of the biggest changes he has seen in the coal industry in recent years.

You began working with Meralco PowerGen just a couple of years ago after many years in Australia and the UK. How has your experience been so far and what makes the Philippines an exciting market to work in at the moment?

The most exciting part of being in the Philippines is of course the rapidly growing energy market – which provides a wide range of opportunities for new projects. And in addition, the fact that diversity of energy supply is still relatively low, so being in at the start of development of wind and solar generation, as well as LNG to come.

Emerging markets can be difficult to enter from a foreign perspective. Do you have any tips for people looking to do business in the Philippines?

As always, forming relationships with experienced local partners will make breaking into a new market much easier. But the Philippines has a well developed market framework, and a strong legal and regulatory regime that puts it ahead of a number of other emerging markets.

At this year’s Coaltrans Emerging Asian Coal Markets conference in Manila you will be talking about the procurement strategies of some of the country’s new power plants. Will these new projects be good news for coal suppliers?

The good news for coal suppliers is that coal will continue to play a key role in the Philippines generation mix for many years to come, although of course we can expect to see more renewables and LNG in time

You have been working in power generation for 25 years. What is the biggest change you have seen in the industry in that time?

The recognition that governments were not best placed to own and operate power stations is a change that is still working its way around the world.  The second big change is seeing that renewables have the potential to make a real market impact as technologies develop and cost reduces.


This content is provided by Coaltrans Conferences for informational purposes only, and it reflects the market and industry conditions and presenter’s opinions and affiliations available at the time of the presentation.

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