Power firm secures P9.3B to put up vital plant

Sarangani Energy gets bankers’ support

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02:29 AM December 14th, 2012

By: Amy R. Remo, December 14th, 2012 02:29 AM

Sarangani Energy Corp. has secured a P9.3-billion syndicated loan to finance the first phase of its 210-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Sarangani province.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, parent firm Alsons Consolidated Resources Inc. reported that Sarangani Energy signed on Wednesday a loan agreement with a consortium of local banks that included BDO Universal Bank, Asia United Bank, Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., United Coconut Planters Bank, Philippine Business Bank, Planters Development Bank and Robinsons Bank.

The joint lead arrangers for the loan—which has a 13.5-year tenor, including a 3.5-year grace period on principal repayment—were BDO Capital and Investment Corp. and RCBC Capital Corp., while Asia United Bank was the co-arranger.

Tomas I. Alcantara, chairman and president of Alsons Consolidated and Sarangani Energy, expressed his appreciation to the company’s partner banks for backing this crucial project, which is expected to help ease the current power supply shortfall in electricity-starved Mindanao.

Alcantara likewise expressed his gratitude to the banks for “supporting the company’s pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit and becoming our partners in making our vision for a progressive Mindanao that much closer to reality.”

Alsons Consolidated currently owns a 75-percent stake in Sarangani Energy, while the remaining 25 percent is held by Toyota Tsusho Corp., the trading company of the Toyota Group.

Sarangani Energy is implementing the coal project in phases. The first phase will see the construction of the first 105-MW power unit to the tune of $310 million. The company targets to start commercial operations for the first phase by August of 2015.

Sarangani Energy has already forged power sales agreement to supply up to 70 MW to South Cotabato II Electric Cooperative Inc., which services more than 133,000 households in the entire province of Sarangani and two key municipalities in South Cotabato.

Construction for the first phase of the coal project officially began in June 2012 with the conduct of the preliminary design and engineering work, which were both completed by end-August this year. Geotechnical studies on the site area began in July and concluded in October.

Meanwhile, civil work will kick off in the first quarter of 2013. This will allow Sarangani Energy to start operations of the coal power facility on schedule.

Meanwhile, Alcantara also expressed optimism that the proposed 100-MW coal-fed facility of Alsons Consolidated in Zamboanga City will be met with the same support by the banking community.

This coal project, which is expected to be operational by 2016, has already been granted an environmental compliance certificate.

The company is set to sign soon an engineering, procurement and construction contract with a prospective firm, and a power sales agreement with a local cooperative.

Aside from the two projects, the Alcantara group also controls and operates the 100-MW bunker-fired power plant in Zamboanga City through Western Mindanao Power Corp., and the 55-MW bunker fired power plant in Sarangani province through Southern Philippines Power Corp.

In the first quarter of this year, the Alcantara group, through its subsidiary Mapalad Power Corp., was granted by the city government of Iligan the right to acquire the 102-MW Iligan diesel plant.

The transfer of ownership is currently undergoing procedural review by the Commission on Audit.

Rehabilitation and operation of the Iligan facility will begin as soon as the transfer has been finalized.

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