Ayala power unit eyes Mindanao plantBy Amy R. Remo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Ayala-led AC Energy Holdings Inc. has partnered with GN Power Ltd. to put up a new coal-fired power facility in Mindanao, a move that may help ease the island’s acute power supply shortage in a few years’ time.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange Friday, parent firm Ayala Corp. reported that the proposed power project was targeted to have a capacity of 405 megawatts. The total cost, however, has yet to be determined following discussions with the engineering and procurement contractor.
According to Ayala, the power project is in the predevelopment stage, starting with clearing operations on the 60-hectare site and the preparation of relocation sites for communities that will be affected by the construction.
AC Energy and GN Power are targeting to start construction of the coal plant within the first half of 2014.
The two firms are among the several investor groups putting up coal plants in Mindanao to help shore up power supply on the electricity-starved island. As of yesterday, Mindanao continued to post a supply deficit of 179 megawatts (MW).
Mindanao is in dire need of baseload facilities as it relies heavily on its hydropower plants, which supply more than half of the island’s electricity requirements. This makes it highly vulnerable to weather conditions like a prolonged drought.
The Ayala group, a relatively new player in the power industry, has been expanding aggressively its power portfolio through partnerships with established energy companies.
Ayala said it expected equity investment of as much as $1 billion over a five-year period in $2.5 billion worth of power projects that can generate 1,000 MW.
The Ayala group has investments in both conventional and renewable energy projects, which it is undertaking with various partners.
The group holds a 17.1-percent interest in GNPower Mariveles Coal Plant Ltd. Co., which started to operate a 600-MW coal plant in Bataan only this year, and a 50-percent stake in NorthWind Power Development Corp., which owns and operates Southeast Asia’s first commercial wind facility, the 33-MW wind farm in Bangui, Ilocos Norte.
Ongoing and proposed power projects include two 135-MW coal facilities in Batangas in partnership with Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corp.; three solar power projects with Mitsubishi Corp. of Japan, and mini hydropower ventures with combined capacities of at least 100 MW, in partnership with Sta. Clara Power Corp.