Ayala, 5 banks sign Bataan power loan

by Alena Mae S. Flores – January 14, 2016 at 11:45 pm

from Manila Standard

Ayala Corp., through unit AC Energy Holdings Corp., and partners signed an agreement with five local banks to finance 70 percent of the funding requirement of a 660-megawatt power plant expansion project in Mariveles, Bataan province.

“We signed with five local banks but we are waiting for some regulatory approvals, from the BSP [Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas],” AC Energy president Eric Francia told reporters Thursday. The expansion project is estimated to cost over $1 billion. He declined to disclose the lenders.

Francia said the company expects to complete the project in 2019. He said a second 660-MW unit was also in the drawing board.

“We will start with the first 660-MW unit first. It is estimated to cost over $1 billion [to construct],” Francia said.

GNPower Mariveles Coal Plant Ltd., where AC Energy controls 20 percent, owns a 600-MW coal-fired power plant in Mariveles.

Francia earlier said the planned expansion would have the same shareholders as the existing Mariveles plant. GNPower Mariveles is owned by Sithe Global Power (Blackstone Group), Power Partners Ltd. Co.and AC Energy.

Francia said the company had signed purchase deals with electric cooperatives on the planned expansion.

AC Energy is nearing its 1,000-MW installed capacity generation target for 2016. The company currently owns around 700 MW of power capacity.

The company’s projects include a 50-percent interest in the 270-MW coal-fired power plant of South Luzon Thermal Energy Corp. in Calaca, Batangas and an 80-percent stake in the development of a 540-MW MW coal plant of GNPower Kauswagan Ltd. Co. in Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte province.

Construction of GNPower Kauswagan’s power plant is estimated to cost around $1 billion, which will be funded by both debt and equity.

The plant, consisting of four units of 135 MW each in Barangay Libertad and Tacub in the municipality of Kauswagan, is expected to be in full operation by 2017.

GNPower Kauswagan tapped Shanghai Electric Power Construction Co., a subsidiary of Power Construction Corp. of China, for the engineering, procurement and construction contract of the Mindanao project. Shanghai Electric will also put up the coal plant expansion in Bataan.

AC Energy has assembled 133 MW of wind farm capacity, the second largest in the country. It includes the 52-MW wind farm of Northwind Power Development Corp. in Bangui, Ilocos Norte and the 81-MW station of North Luzon Renewable Energy Corp. in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte.

Francia said the company was open to other acquisition opportunities to expand its portfolio in the next five years.

“We will be looking at possible acquisition along the way on an opportunistic basis. We will be active in development not only in coal but other technologies as well,” he said.