AboitizPower may write off biomass facility in Batangas

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ABOITIZ POWER Corp. might take a loss on its biomass facility in Batangas, its president said on Wednesday, days after the company said the 8.8-megawatt (MW) power plant had temporarily ceased operations.

“We are currently continuing our technical evaluation, and a write-off is a possibility,” said Antonio R. Moraza, AboitizPower president and chief operating officer, in a statement.

He said the company expects to be able to make a final decision within the year on the biomass power plant that is currently under extended shutdown.

On Monday, AboitizPower said its unit Aseagas Corp. had advised that the plant in Lian, Batangas temporarily ceased operations on Nov. 24 because of the unavailability of the supply of organic effluent wastewater.

It said that after evaluating the circumstances and the ongoing technical problems relating to the plant’s fuel stock and digester components, Aseagas decided to continue the shutdown and to determine the right way forward.

The supply of organic effluent wastewater was supposed to come from Absolut Distillers, Inc.

Aside from the Aseagas facility, Mr. Moraza said AboitizPower’s projects were on track and should be mostly online in the first half of 2018.

AboitizPower expects to add around 500 MW of attributable capacity next year with the completion of several hydro and baseload plants in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

“The entry of these plants will significantly support the country’s energy reserves and will show that the Philippines is open for business and investments,” Mr. Moraza said.

“We have one of the most diversified portfolios in the country and we continue to be on the lookout for opportunities to push our balanced mix strategy,” he added.

His statement was made during the company’s briefing for analysts on Tuesday, AboitizPower said.

AboitizPower along with partner SN Power of Norway recently completed building the 8.5-MW Maris Canal hydro project in Isabela, while subsidiary Hedcor, Inc. is about to finish the 68.8-MW hydro plant in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon.

The company is also finishing the 340-MW Therma Power Visayas, Inc. baseload power plant in Toledo City, Cebu and the 400-MW Pagbilao 3 baseload power plant in Quezon province.

On Wednesday, shares in AboitizPower closed 0.50 centavos or 1.29% lower at P38.30 each. — Victor V. Saulon