By Lenie Lectura – November 13, 2018
from Business Mirror
ABOITIZ Power Corp. is not keen on acquiring another thermal power asset of AC Energy Inc., saying it would rather focus on existing power assets also located in Mindanao.
Aboitiz Power Chief Executive Officer Erramon Aboitiz said the company’s recent acquisition of a higher stake in the Bataan power plants was anchored on the fact that the former was already a shareholder in the power projects.
“Therefore, we were willing to increase our economic stake. So, those were the assets that we were really looking at, and we didn’t really focus on some of the other ones,” said Aboitiz.
In September AboitizPower sealed a deal with AC Energy for the purchase of a stake in the latter’s thermal business, AA Thermal Inc., valued at $579.2 million.
The transaction involves the acquisition of a 49-percent voting stake and 60-percent economic interest in AA Thermal by AboitizPower.
AA Thermal’s assets initially consist of AC Energy’s limited partnership interests in GNPower Mariveles Coal Plant Ltd. Co., the owner and operator of an operating 2×316-megawatt coal plant in Mariveles, Bataan, and in GNPower Dinginin Ltd. Co., the developer and owner of a 2×668-MW supercritical coal plant project in Dinginin, Bataan.
AboitizPower and AC Energy are partners in the GNPower projects. The agreement will increase AboitizPower’s beneficial ownership in the Mariveles project to 78.325 percent, and in the Dinginin project to 70 percent.
The Mariveles project has been operating since 2013, while the first unit of the Dinginin project is scheduled to go online in 2019.
Then in October, AC Energy Inc. announced it was in discussions with investors for the sale of another thermal power asset, the 4×135-MW coal-fired power plant in Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte, in Mindanao. The project proponent is GN Power Kauswagan Ltd. Co.
But since Aboitiz Power has also established its presence in Mindanao, where the Kauswagan plant of AC Energy is located, the former would rather concentrate on expanding its existing Mindanao power asset rather than acquire another power plant.
“In Mindanao, for example, we have our Therma South there and as the market grows we have the infrastructure and the land to be able to expand that business and, therefore, I think that will be our priority if we were to increase our presence in Mindanao,” said Aboitiz.
Aboitiz Power has set 4,000MW target capacity by 2020.
The two GNPower plants will help the company meet this target. These are also essential in the company’s commitment to securing a balanced energy mix to support the country’s energy security.
“We had a target of 4,000 attributable MW to us by 2020 and, I think, we will probably hit that or maybe exceed it a little bit with the acquisition. So, we will come up with new target eventually. But we’re just focusing right now on our 2020 goals,” said the official.