Trans-Asia eyes key role in power sector

by Myrna Velasco, 23 August 2015
from Manila Bulletin

From a bit performer over the years, the Phinma-led Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development is now reinforcing its foothold in the deregulated power sector as it sets sight on eventually becoming a ‘key’ industry player.

As it gears up for portfolio growth, the company has been strategically diversifying its power investments – ranging from renewable energy projects to thermal-based power plant developments.

Following the commercial commissioning of its first base load power facility earlier this year via its 135-megawatt first phase South Luzon Thermal Energy Corporation (SLTEC) joint venture with the Ayala Group, Trans-Asia is still showing signs of aggressive capacity expansions.

That coal plant alone will be increased to 270MW in capacity at its targeted commercial commissioning by the end of this year. The second unit is of another 135MW capacity.

Trans-Asia president Francisco L. Viray enthusiastically asserted, “We need to increase our generation capacity to coincide with the growing power demand and to become a key player in the industry.”

He added that the company “intends to pursue projects to bulk up its generation portfolio to cater to more customers.”

Gauging from the line-up of projects that it has been advancing to implementations phases, the company may cross the 1,000 to 1,500MW portfolio in the medium term if industry demand would still warrant capacity additions and if the investment environment would continually turn out viable.

Among the big-ticket projects it has been keeping its goal on is a 600-MW coal-fired power plant facility to be sited in Pangasinan. This is targeted on stream in the next 4-5 years. It is also poised for prospective hydropower plant developments.

“Trans-Asia is now laying the groundwork for additional projects to address the country’s power needs for the 2018-2023 period,” the company has noted.

Beyond the SLTEC coal facility, Trans-Asia’s power capacities similarly cover the 20MW Maibarara geothermal facility which is also set for expansion; the 96MW power barges which it recently acquired from government and the 54MW San Lorenzo wind power facility in the Visayas.

On the side, the company has been extracting ‘values for its shareholders’ on its business foray as licensed retail electricity supplier (RES) in the restructured power market.