By Myrna M. Velasco – March 31, 2020, 10:00 PM
from Manila Bulletin
The chief executive officer and chairman of publicly listed energy firm Vivant Corporation – Dennis N.A. Garcia — passed away on March 28 (Saturday) due to complications related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) disease, the company has announced.
Vivant has vast interests in the energy sector – primarily in Cebu, Palawan and La Union; and it is also a significant stakeholder in the Visayan Electric Company (VECO), the second biggest power distribution firm in the country, which is its joint venture with the Aboitiz Group.
According to the company, Garcia “had prior respiratory health issues, specifically emphysema, before COVID-19 was a known issue.”
He was reportedly hospitalized at the Cebu Doctor’s University Hospital starting on March 25 (Wednesday), where he was tested for COVID-19; and his result came out positive on March 28, the same day that he succumbed to the ailment at 6:38pm.
His cremation followed the day after (March 29), based on the guidelines set forth by the Department of Health (DOH) for patients who had passed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of Monday (March 30), Vivant indicated that the company has been “working with the Cebu City government to track his movements in two weeks prior to his hospitalization in order to identify people he was in close contact with for monitoring, quarantine and possible testing.”
Prior to Garcia’s demise, Vivant is on its robust growth trajectory – not only on its energy business, but also on plans to branch out to other infrastructure ventures, primarily in the water sector.
For this year, it was divulged by company executives that the Vivant board chaired by Garcia had green-lighted over P1.0 billion capital expenditures (capex) for pipelined greenfield power projects.
These include prospective installations in Puerto Princesa and El Nido, Palawan for aggregate capacity of 30 megawatts; then another 16 megawatts in Marinduque province.
The company qualified though that all these ventures are subject to competitive selection process (CSP) by their host distribution utilities, but in case the company wins in the bidding, Vivant Energy is prepared to inject warranted capital outlay.
Another power project it is advancing to construction phase this year is a 23MW facility, the chunk of the capacity of which is covered by a 15-year power supply agreement with Bantayan Island Electric Cooperative (BANELCO) in Cebu.
The power facility, once completed, will supply electricity to three municipalities: Bantayan, Santa Fe and Madrilejos which are all part of the Bantayan island domain.