Corporate News

By Claire-Ann M. C. Feliciano, Senior Reporter

AboitizPower taps partner in bid for coal plant deal

Posted on September 15, 2015

ABOITIZ Power Corp. (AboitizPower) said it has tapped another investor to together bid for the contracted capacity of a Mindanao coal plant, which will be auctioned off by the government in November.

“We’re definitely going for it and we will be very aggressive,” Antonio R. Moraza, AboitizPower president and chief operating officer, said in an interview in Makati City.

The company will team up with La Filipina Uygongco Corp. for the bidding that will be conducted by the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM).

“We’re partnering with La Filipina. As a matter of fact, they will have the majority [stake],” Mr. Moraza said.

AboitizPower has an existing partnership with La Filipina through STEAG State Power, Inc. (SPI).

SPI -- a joint venture among Germany’s Steag GmbH (51%); AboitizPower (34%); and La Filipina (15%) -- currently operates the 210-MW Mindanao coal plant in Misamis Oriental under a build-operate-contract with the government that will lapse in 2031.

PSALM -- which currently administers the 200-MW capacity of the project -- is moving to privatize the asset’s contracted capacity.

This will be done through an auction, which will be held on November 25.

Last month, PSALM said it was expecting some six investor groups to participate in the bidding -- which was half than the 12 that originally expressed interest in the independent power producer administrator contract.

These companies, which attended the pre-bid conference last April, include the country’s top three generation companies: SMC Global Power Holdings Corp. led by Ramon S. Ang; FirstGen Northern Power Corp. of the Lopez Group; and Aboitiz-owned Therma Southern Mindanao. Inc.

Also in the list are the Gotianuns’ FDC Davao Del Norte Power Corp.; the Alcantara Group’s Conal Holdings Corp.; and Pangilinan-led Meralco PowerGen Corp.

Other interested investors are GDF Suez Energy Philippines, Inc.; Masinloc Power Partners Co. Ltd.; and, Team (Philippines) Energy Corp.

Listed firms SPC Power Corp. and Vivant Corp. via Vivant Energy Corp.; as well as Nefix Pte. Ltd. completed the list of prospective bidders.

The Mindanao coal plant started operating in 2006. It supplies about a fifth of Mindanao’s power needs.

The cooperation period of the government with the plant operator SPI will end in 2031.