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Toyota Tsusho keen on Alsons’ hydro projects

Alsons Consolidated Resources Inc. expects to expand its partnership with Toyota Tsusho Corp. through hydro power projects that are lined up in the Visayas.

ACR has partnered with the vehicle manufacturer’s diversified trading arm since 1991. Toyota Tsuho has a 25-percent interest in diesel and coal-fired power plants in Mindanao.

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These include the 55-megawatt plant of Southern Philippines Power Corp. in Sarangani and the 100-MW plant of Western Mindanao Power Corp. in Zamboanga City, which both run on bunker diesel.

The Japanese firm also has a one-fourth stake in Sarangani Energy Corp., whose first 105-MW coal-fired unit is already operating in Sarangani. A second 105-MW unit is cued for commercial run in the second half of 2019.

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Tirso Santillan Jr., ACR’s EVP and chief executive, said in an interview Toyota Tsusho had expressed interest in additional joint ventures, particularly in renewable energy.
Santillan said that while Toyota was not very keen on additional projects in Mindanao due to peace and order concerns, the Nagoya-based firm had expressed interest in ACR’s plans for hydropower facilities in Bago City, Negros Occidental, “where there are no issues of security risks.”

“They made it clear that if we invite them to participate in the Bago projects, they will go in with a 25-percent stake,” he said.
“Partnerships with them (Toyota Tsusho) are on a project basis, but as a concept, they want to go into renewable,” he said. “In fact, they have a subsidiary which is a renewable energy company.”

ACR’s Negros projects involve four sites along the Bago River that have a potential to host four generators with a total power generating capacity of 42 MW.

“We are moving toward implementing that (Bago hydro projects) and we will make the (investment) decision soon,” Santillan said.

The Bago River projects, along with a possible 38-MW hydro plant along the Sindangan River in Zamboanga del Norte, are awaiting implementation after ACR brings into commercial operation—expected in 2021—its 14.5 MW run-of-river hydro project in Sarangani along the Siguil River.

Aside from Siguil, Bago and Sindangan, Alsons is also looking at five other hydro projects elsewhere in Mindanao—which all together represent a total of 87 MW in generating capacity.

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