MVP Group interested in coal plants AC Energy plans to sell

By Lenie Lectura – November 5, 2018
from Business Mirror

THE group of Manuel V. Pangilinan is interested to take a look at the 4×135-megawatt coal-fired power plants in Mindanao that AC Energy Inc. has put on the auction block.

“We heard about that. We’re trying to get data. What I am told, it is a coal project. It seems to be almost finished so it’s ready for operation. So, it looks interesting because we don’t have to wait for all sorts of approval, will probably take a look at it,” said Pangilinan, chairman of the Manila Electric Co.  Meralco PowerGen Corp. is the power-generation arm of Meralco.

After AboitizPower sealed an agreement with AC Energy in September for the purchase of a stake in the latter’s thermal business, AA Thermal Inc., valued at $579.2 million, the power arm of  conglomerate Ayala Corp., announced it was selling the rest of its thermal portfolio, which includes the GN Power Kauswagan plant.

Pangilinan said nothing has been decided on yet.

“There’s no commitment at this stage. We’re looking. It looks attractive because the plants are almost done, I was told. It appears to be super critical plant. I will take a serious look at it,” the Meralco official said.

The power facility, the Meralco official said, would boost the power capacity in Mindanao, which still lacks supply, contrary to what others observed that there is oversupply of power in Mindanao.

“It doesn’t seem that way from the ground. My impression is that it continues to suffer from brownouts. So, we will take a look at it,” Pangilinan commented. Should Pangilinan’s group decide to push through with its interest in AC Energy’s GN Power Kauswagan plant, this will most likely cement its power-generation portfolio fortress across grids.

“We have one power plant operating in Sarangani. We have a 50:50 share there. I think there’s a second plant being built. There’s a third plant supposed to be built in Zamboanga Cty, depending on distribution with the Zamboanga City Electric Cooperative,” he said.

Global Business Power Corp. (GBP), which is controlled by Pangilinan’s Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), took in a 50- percent stake in Alsons Consolidated Resources, Inc. (ACR).

GBP’s power projects are situated in the Visayas while the Alcantara-led ACR is dominant in Mindanao. Meralco PowerGen Corp., the power generation arm of Meralco, is pursuing a number of power projects in Luzon.

ACR chairman Tomas I. Alcantara had said the deal would “combine GBP’s technical competencies and strengths in the Visayas with ACR’s long years of experience in Mindanao as the island’s first independent power producer.”

He added “this partnership will greatly benefit power consumers particularly in light of the planned interconnection of the Mindanao and Visayas grids, which we strongly support.”

Pangilinan had commeted before that GBP would be able to gain leverage on Alsons’ “proven, long standing and successful track record in owning and operating power plants in Mindanao.”

“This strategic acquisition is in line with MPIC’s commitment to further bolster our infrastructure investments in all parts of the Philippines,” Pangilinan said.