Aboitiz Construction in talks with 2 Chinese firms

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Aboitiz Construction, Inc. Chairman Jaime Jose Y. Aboitiz, and President and CEO Alberto A. Ignacio Jr. (third and first from left, respectively), met with Shandong Electric Power Construction Corporation III Chairman Wang Lujun and Senior VP Zhang Hongson. Courtesy of Aboitiz Construction, Inc.

THE construction arm of Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. (AEV) is currently in negotiations with two Chinese firms, in an effort to increase its footprint overseas.

Aboitiz Construction, Inc. (ACI) disclosed on Monday that its officials recently visited Chinese firms Shandong Electric Power Construction Corporation III (SEPCO3) and Dongfang Electric Company (DEC), which resulted in offers of partnership from the two.

“At home or abroad, ACI will continue to pursue opportunities that will allow us to advance business and communities through our various projects, as well as put us on track to being the contractor of choice by completing projects on time, on budget, safely, and within specifications,” ACI Chairman Jaime Jose Y. Aboitiz was quoted as saying in a statement.

SEPCO3 provides construction services to energy firms, specifically in designing, building, and operating power plants. These are done through the engineering, procurement, construction method, build-operate-transfer method, and build-operate-own-transfer method.

Outside China, SEPCO3 also operates in India, Nigeria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Indonesia, and Singapore.

On the other hand, DEC works under the Chinese central government, and specializes in the manufacturing industry. The company is also involved in the research and development of new technology, contracting of international engineering projects, the export of complete plans and equipment, and the conduct of international economic and technical cooperation.

“The visit aimed to strengthen the firms’ interest to partner with ACI, specifically for power projects, as well as other infrastructure projects in the Philippines under the Build, Build, Build Program of the government,” the company said.

ACI’s engagement with Chinese firms comes amid the government’s more lax attitude towards China, as the country is expected to play a key role in investing in President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s P8-trillion infrastructure program.

Just recently, the Duterte administration said it has made an offer for the Chinese government to invest in the telecom industry, in order to break the duopoly between telecom giants PLDT, Inc. and Globe Telecom, Inc.

ACI is part of AEV, which has core interests in power, infrastructure, financial services, food manufacturing, real estate, and portfolio investments.

AEV generated an attributable profit of P15.9 billion in the first nine months of 2017, 6.9% lower year on year due to foreign exchange losses, despite a 27% increase in revenues to P111.48 billion.

Shares in AEV gained P1.50 or 2.22% at the end of Monday’s trading to close at P69 apiece at the Philippine Stock Exchange. — Arra B. Francia