Aboitiz subsidiary buys power barges for P2.3B

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Aboitiz Power Corp., through wholly owned subsidiary Therma Mobile Inc., has acquired four units of barge-mounted floating power plants now moored at the Fishport Complex in Navotas City for P2.3 billion.

According to APC, the barges were owned by Duracom Mobile Power Corp. and East Asia Diesel Power Corp. The deal, it said in a statement, was expected to help prevent a power supply shortfall in Luzon.

The Navotas power barges consisted of bunker C-fired diesel plants designed for peak load application.

When fully operational, the barges will have an aggregate deliverable generating capacity of 242 megawatts. APC noted that the units it acquired had not been operating for almost five years.

“We believe these assets have a strategic value for APC’s generation portfolio. The power barges’ mobility and quick-start capability help complete the balanced mix we are trying to create,” said APC president and chief executive officer Erramon I. Aboitiz.

A power barge is essentially a floating power plant that can be towed to and moored in different areas. Transfers, however, require meticulous preparations and permits from various agencies.

APC, however, said it had no immediate plans to relocate the units it acquired. It said the priority was to have the units rehabilitated so they would be able to deliver the maximum capacities of the facilities.

Rehabilitation of the units is expected to be completed by December 2011, which will allow the barges to start generating power from these within the first half of 2012.

Therma Mobile, which will handle the operational needs of the Navotas barges, plans to sell the generated power to the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM) in Luzon. It also plans to offer ancillary services to National Grid Corp. of the Philippines, operator of the national transmission network.

Ancillary services refer to the power supplier-driven services that are necessary to support the transmission of electricity from power resources to load customers to maintain stability, reliability and quality of power services.

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