Aboitiz mulls over unit’s future after biomass-plant shutdown

By Lenie Lectura – December 4, 2017
from Business Mirror

ABOITIZ Power Corp. said on Monday that it would explore options amid the shutdown of its wholly owned subsidiary Aseagas Corp.’s biomass power plant.

“This continued shutdown will allow us to look at our options, taking into consideration the interests of all our stakeholders,” AboitizPower President Antonio Moraza said.

Aseagas’s 8.8-megawatt (MW) biomass plant in Lian, Batangas, stopped operations on November 24 due to unavailability of the supply of organic effluent wastewater from Absolut Distillers Inc.

While on shutdown, Aseagas can further assess the plant’s technical problems and determine the appropriate way forward for the facility, according to Moraza.

“After evaluating the circumstances and the ongoing technical problems relating to the plant’s fuel stock and digester components, Aseagas decided to maintain the shutdown and to determine the appropriate way forward,” an Aseagas statement said.

Separately, Aseagas disclosed that it prepaid its outstanding loan of P2.368 billion with the Development Bank of the Philippines. Aseagas also has invested equity of around P950 million for the biomass plant and has around P460 million in outstanding liabilities.

“Despite these challenges, our other projects are progressing as planned,” Moraza said. He added that about 500 MW of attributable capacity, mainly from baseload and hydropower plants, will come online in 2018.

“We are on track to meeting our 4,000-MW net attributable capacity target by 2020.”

Aseagas is a wholly owned subsidiary through Aboitiz Renewables Inc., its holding company for its investments in renewable energy.