Razon eyes investments in Palawan power sector

By Alena Mae S. Flores – April 14, 2019 at 07:20 pm
from manilastandard.net

Port and gaming tycoon Enrique Razon Jr. is looking at investment opportunities in Palawan province, particularly in the power sector.

“We’re looking also at Palawan. The problem with Palawan is you have great distances between. We’re still studying how most efficient to expand into Palawan. But definitely, Palawan needs more efficient power,” Razon, the majority shareholder in More Electric and Power Corp. through his holding firms, said.

Razon did not specify the planned investment in Palawan and denied any talks with Palawan Electric Co., the electric cooperative in Palawan.

“We haven’t been talking to Paleco,” the executive said, amid reports that More was interested in taking over the operations of Paleco after it successfully took over the franchise for Iloilo City.

More is currently in a legal battle with Panay Electric Co. which refused the expropriation of its distribution assets in favor of the Razon firm. More’s franchise as the new power distributor of Iloilo City took effect on March 6, 2019 under Republic Act 11212.

“We have the Iloilo project, and the possible Chico dam hydroelectric. That’s 200 MW [megawatts] to 240 MW,” Razon said when asked about his current power investments.

Razon, through Prime Metro Power Holdings Corp., earlier signed a joint venture agreement with San Lorenzo Ruiz PIAT Energy and Water Inc. Inc. for the 245-MW Chico River Hydro Project in Tabuk, Kalinga province.

The Philippine Competition Commission approved the Chico River hydro project. Razon said he would continue to look at “certain opportunities that look feasible.”

Razon’s Monte Oro Grid Resources Corp. previously owned a 30-percent stake in Natiaonal Grid Corp. of the Philippines which operates the country’s transmission highway.

OneTaipan Holdings, a company controlled by Henry Sy Jr., acquired the entire stake of Monte Oro from Razon in 2010.

Forbes Magazine listed Razon as the country’s third richest billionaire with a net worth of $4.8 billion in 2019. Razon improved his ranking worldwide to 379th place from last year’s 404th place.

Razon owns container terminal operator International Container Terminal Services Inc. and gaming firm Bloomberry Resorts Corp. which operates Solaire Resort & Casino in Parañaque City.