Aboitiz Power to invest P85B in energy projects
Funding expansion of existing facilities, hydro plantsBy Amy R. Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Aboitiz Power Corp. is embarking on P85 billion worth of power-generation facilities that will add about 1,500 megawatts to the Luzon and Mindanao grids in four years’ time.
On the sidelines of the Philippine Economic Briefing Wednesday, APC president Erramon I. Aboitiz explained that the amount would be used for the planned 400-MW expansion of the existing Pagbilao coal-fed power plant in Quezon, the 300-MW coal-fired facility in Davao, the 600-MW coal-fed plant in Subic and several hydropower projects across the country.
According to Aboitiz, APC and its joint-venture partner Team Energy were targeting to start within the year the $800-million expansion of the existing 700-MW Pagbilao power plant and have the facility operating commercially by 2016.
The construction of the P25-billion, 300-MW coal-fed plant in Davao by APC’s wholly owned subsidiary Therma South Inc. is expected to be completed by 2015. Specifically, the first phase of 150 MW is expected to be running within the last quarter of 2014, while the last phase of another 150 MW by the first quarter of 2015.
The Subic coal-fired plant, which is being jointly undertaken by APC, Manila Electric Co. and Taiwan Cogeneration, has yet to start construction given a few hurdles the project is facing, but is still being targeted for completion by 2016.
Aboitiz, however, did not disclose much information about the company’s hydropower projects, except to say that they were looking at about four projects that could add more than 100 MW.
According to Aboitiz, the country’s business climate was currently ideal for investments and its strong fundamentals were making investors take a second look at the Philippines.
Investors, he explained, previously found it difficult to invest in long-term, long-payback projects, but because of the country’s fiscal position, investors were finding it more attractive to invest in long-term projects.
Aboitiz added that Mindanao, in particular, was a good business frontier with rich agricultural resources that needed to be unlocked. One of the biggest roadblocks, however, was the lack of electricity and other critical infrastructure on the island.
Mindanao has been suffering from rotating power outages due to its heavy reliance on hydroelectricity, mainly from the 900-MW Agus and Pulangi power complexes, which are owned and operated by the state-run National Power Corp.