Aboitiz-Marubeni team vying for Chevron assets
The Aboitiz group plans to team up with Japanese business house Marubeni to bid for the geothermal assets of American energy giant Chevron Corp. in the Philippines and Indonesia, a deal that can give the local group greater regional footprint.
Luis Miguel Aboitiz, chief operating officer and executive vice president at Aboitiz Power Corp., said the group was interested in the Asian geothermal assets to be unloaded by Chevron.
“It’s renewable. We’re already in geothermal and we like Indonesia. We think Indonesia has lots of potential,” Aboitiz told reporters in a chance interview on Thursday night.
Aboitiz said the auction was being structured in such a way that these Asian assets would be sold as one block. As such, he said the Aboitiz group would tie up with Marubeni on this big undertaking.
Chevron is unloading its geothermal assets in Indonesia and the Philippines with estimated value of $2.5 billion this month, industry sources said.
Other local groups—Ayala Corp. and Energy Development Corp.— are likewise keen on getting a piece of Chevron’s geothermal assets.
In the Philippines, Chevron has a 40-percent interest in Philippine Geothermal Production Co. Inc. (PGPC), which develops and produces steam energy for third-party-owned and -operated Tiwi and Mak-Ban geothermal power plants in Southern Luzon with a combined generating capacity of 692 megawatts. The remaining 60 percent stake in PGPC is held by the Sy family of the SM group.
Chevron also has interest in the Kalinga geothermal prospect area in northern Luzon.
AP Renewables, a unit of Aboitiz Power, is the operator of the southern Luzon power plants that use steam produced by PGPC using heat from the earth, which naturally makes the Aboitiz group one of the interested parties. The Aboitiz group bought the power plants from the state-owned Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) in 2009.
Aboitiz Power president Antonio Moraza, in a speech during a media event on Thursday night, said his company was on track to achieving a generating capacity of 4,000 megawatts by 2020.
This year, two of the group’s new facilities became operational—the Therma South 300-MW Davao base load plant and the Sacasun 59-MW solar plant in Negros Occidental. Both plants have contributed to increase Aboitiz Power’s net sellable generating capacity from 3,044 MW to 3,350 MW.
“Offshore, the bulk of our investment effort is focused on Indonesia but we remain open to exploring other opportunities as part of our growth strategy in the Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nation) region,” Moraza said.
Moraza noted that Aboitiz Power remained one of the country’s largest producers of renewable energy, generating a total net sellable capacity of 1,263 MW of its “cleanergy” portfolio.
“This demonstrates our commitment to support the government’s push for a balanced mix of renewable and nonrenewable power sources to address the country’s increasing energy demand,” he said.