Aboitiz eyes airport, water PPPsBy Doris C. Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Aboitiz group is keen on bidding for airport terminal and water infrastructure projects under the government’s public-private partnership (PPP) framework as part of its growth roadmap outside of power generation.
In a briefing on Thursday, top officials of Aboitiz Equity Ventures and Aboitiz Power Corp. announced that the group was interested in investing in new infrastructure ventures apart from new or greenfield power-generation projects, which will boost its attributable installed capacity to 3,100 megawatts by 2015 from 2,350 MW at present.
Together with its partners, the group expects to invest P170 billion in the next three to five years in new power-generation projects.
The Aboitiz group is also keen on expanding its interests in banking (Union Bank and CitiSavings) and food (Pilmico Foods) whether through organic growth or acquisitions.
“Union Bank is not for sale. Over the years, we have been increasing our ownership and we’re very happy with how Union Bank is performing,” AEV chairman Jon Ramon Aboitiz told reporters in a briefing, when asked about recurring rumors about the possible sale of the bank.
Justo Ortiz, chairman of Union Bank, said the bank had clear strengths in trading and fixed income securities for the past two decades and this would likely continue to be part of its strategy.
But while power currently accounts for more than 70 percent of AEV’s total business, the Cebu-based conglomerate plans to participate in the government’s PPP auctions.
“We’re keeping our eyes open for PPP—airports or maybe water—as opportunities for us,” Aboitiz said, adding that the group was not interested in other areas like toll roads or railways.
“We want to concentrate on areas where we have expertise and which offer huge growth potential,” Aboitiz said.
For airports, the group is interested in the privatization of Mactan terminal but will also take a look at all airport projects in the PPP pipeline. The group may bid either by itself or with a strategic partner, Aboitiz said.
Asked why the group was interested in airports, Aboitiz said: “It’s a part of the PPP. We feel that airports will be important gateways just like seaports are.”
For water, Aboitiz said the group was keen on either distribution or bulk water supply.
“Water is a very important component of our needs and that’s something we’ll be interested in,” he said, adding that the group would consider available water projects nationwide.
For power, the group has disclosed plans to participate in generation projects that will install 1,354MW in new capacity through 2015, out of which 704MW would be attributable to the group. Part of this strategy is to invest in Mindanao, which is still hounded by a power supply shortage.
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