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Alsons seeks equity partner for power project


04:00 AM February 11th, 2013

By: Amy R. Remo, February 11th, 2013 04:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines—The Alcantara-led Alsons Consolidated Resources Inc. is considering Japan’s Toyota Tsusho Corp., the trading company of the Toyota Group, as a possible equity partner for its planned $311-million coal-fired power plant in Zamboanga City.

“A lot of companies have been coming to us, wanting to become a partner in our projects and we have refused them all (including some conglomerates intending to enter into the power generation business). Alsons is considering equity partners and Toyota Tsusho is one of them,” Luis R. Ymson Jr., chief financial officer of Alsons Consolidated, said in an interview.

Ymson told the Inquirer that the company was finalizing some requirements for the planned 105-megawatt Zamboanga coal plant project, which would be undertaken by a subsidiary called San Ramon Power Inc.

“Once this is concluded, we will be able to make a final decision on an equity partner. Toyota Tsusho has been a valued, trusted and longtime partner in our power ventures, and it will definitely be considered for [the Zamboanga coal power] project,” Ymson explained.

Alsons Consolidated announced last month that it would start developing the Zamboanga power project, which has been granted an environmental compliance certificate (ECC) early last year. The company has already finalized an engineering, procurement and construction contract with Daelim Industrial of South Korea in December 2012.

It can be recalled that Toyota Tsusho last year acquired a 25-percent stake in the Alcantara Group’s Sarangani Energy Corp., which is building a $450-million coal-fired power plant in Sarangani.

In June last year, Sarangani Energy started construction work for the first phase of its planned 210-megawatt coal-fired power facility. The first phase involves a 105-MW unit, which is set to start commercial operations by early 2015.

This coal facility is expected to help provide a long-term, more sustainable solution to the recurring power supply crunch in Mindanao, as it will ensure the availability of a baseload power station on an island that depends on hydropower resources for over half of its electricity requirements.

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