Ayala raising $1 billion for Mariveles coal plant expansion

by Myrna Velasco – January 14, 2016

from Manila Bulletin

The energy arm of Ayala Corporation is eyeing to finally close this year the loan component of its $1-billion coal-fired power plant expansion project of 660-megawatt capacity to be sited in Diningin of Mariveles town in Bataan.

Eric T. Francia, managing director and chief executive officer of the Energy and Infrastructure Group, of AC Energy Holdings said they already signed agreement with five banks for the planned facility’s financing.

He said the loan portion accounts for roughly 70-percent of the project’s funding; while the equity portion will be shared 50-50 with their project partners GN Power and American investment fund Sithe Global.

Before the project sponsors can finalize the loan agreement and be able to draw from the facility though, Francia emphasized that they would need “to secure regulatory approvals” primarily that of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

The project is targeted on stream around 2019, hence, construction is expected to take off this year. Francia disclosed that the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract has been awarded to Shanghai Electric Power Corporation.

Its attributable capacity from the GNPower Diningin plant expansion, according to Francia, will complete the 1,000-megawatts targeted portfolio of the Ayala group by 2019.

Looking beyond that, the group’s energy investment potential might still be stretched but that will entirely depend on the electricity sector’s supply-demand balance at the turn of the decade.

The next ones that they can still extract from blueprint, he said, would be the second phase 660MW expansion of the GN Mariveles development; and the phase 3 expansion of 135MW for the South Luzon Thermal Energy Corporation (SLTEC), its joint venture with Del Rosario-led Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corporation.

By 2019, there have been forecasts of overcapacity in both Luzon and Mindanao grids of which the project development terrain of the GNPower group is currently focused on.

Francia stressed though that their level of comfort is with the contracts that they have already cornered with off-takers such as the distribution utilities and contestable customers like the industries.