P33B projects in Trans-Asia pipeline

Firm takes on more joint ventures with Ayala unit

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Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corp. is embarking on a series of power generation projects, collectively worth P33 billion, over the next five years to boost its generating capacity to as much 687 megawatts (MW).

During a stockholders’ meeting on Tuesday, Trans-Asia chief finance officer Roberto M. Laviña said that the company expects its equity share in four new power projects to reach roughly P5 billion—the reason why Trans-Asia on Tuesday sought the approval of its shareholders to raise the company’s capital stock to P8.4 billion.

Laviña revealed that the company is eyeing four new power generation projects, which include the second phase of its ongoing 135-megawatt coal-fired power project in Batangas. Trans-Asia is undertaking the project in partnership with the Ayala Group’s AC Energy Holdings.

Through the same joint-venture vehicle called South Luzon Thermal Energy Corp., Trans-Asia is looking to put up a second 135-MW unit in the area worth an estimated P9.6 billion.

According to company president Francisco Viray, Trans-Asia still does not have a timetable for the project, but the company aims to complete the second 135-MW unit in the next five years.

Another project is the proposed second phase of the 20-MW geothermal facility to be built on Mt. Makiling. Trans-Asia has a 25-percent interest in Maibarara Geothermal Inc., which is undertaking the said project. The second phase entails the construction of another 20-MW unit worth P3 billion in the vicinity.

The third project, according to Laviña, is the proposed 135-megawatt coal project in North Mindanao, which is expected to cost P13.7 billion.

Trans-Asia Oil has already begun pre-engineering and feasibility study to build a coal facility in northeastern Mindanao, similar to what is being built in Batangas. Should the company proceed with the project, the power plant could start operations by 2015 or 2016, Viray added.

The fourth project is the P6.5-billion 54-MW Guimaras wind farm. The move to proceed with the project, however, will hinge on the issuance of feed-in-tariff rates. The rates, which are yet to be issued by the Energy Regulatory Commission, will determine the economic viability of renewable energy projects and will assure developers of fixed cash flows over the next 20 years.

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