ABOITIZ POWER Corp. remains open to further acquisitions, possibly going beyond the Philippines in its expansion plan, a company official said.
“We’re always on the lookout,” Emmanuel V. Rubio, AboitizPower chief operating officer, told reporters last week. “There are [target] projects that are very close to decision.”
On overseas expansion, he said the company was scouting for opportunities in Vietnam, Myanmar and Indonesia.
“Other than technology, it’s also location, what services are being provided by those facilities, not just technology… We’re technology-neutral, we’re more about the value that the plant is providing,” Mr. Rubio said.
“We’re always on the lookout in terms of renewable development, but moving forward I think we have a number of sites that can possibly be expanded,” he added.
The appetite for further expansion comes after AboitizPower in September last year agreed to acquire voting and economic stakes in the thermal power company of Ayala-led AC Energy, Inc. for $579.2 million.
The acquisition will give it a 49% voting stake and 60% economic stake in AA Thermal, Inc. The deal is awaiting approval from the Philippine Competition Commission (PCC).
AC Energy’s thermal platform initially consists of its partnership interests in GNPower Mariveles Coal Plant Ltd. Co. and GNPower Dinginin Ltd. Co.
GNPower Mariveles is the owner and operator of an operating two-unit coal plant in Mariveles, Bataan each with a capacity of 316 megawatts (MW). GNPower-Dinginin is developing a supercritical coal-fired power plant with two identical units with a net capacity of 668 MW each.
Once the transaction is completed, AboitizPower’s ownership in the Mariveles coal plant will increase to 78.325%, and in the Dinginin coal plant project to 70%. The Mariveles plant has been operating since 2013, while the first unit of the Dinginin plant is expected to go online in 2019.
“We’re still waiting for the [PCC] approval for Dinginin… Siguro mga (Maybe in) two to three months,” Mr. Rubio said.
He noted there is also room for expansion in Therma South, Inc. (TSI), its 300-MW coal-fired power plant in Davao City that started commercial run in September 2015. The power plant supplies baseload power to more than 20 electric cooperatives and distribution utilities in Mindanao.
In July last year, AboitizPower took possession of the land-based power plant in Naga City, Cebu after years of legal tussle over the ownership of the asset with SPC Power Corp.
“We believe Naga is going to be providing an important service to the grid. We’re upgrading it, making it more reliable, expanding the capacity. After the rehab we expect that to be 45 MW compared to, I think, 22 [MW] before,” he said.
Mr. Rubio said AboitizPower is on track to hit its goal of 4,000 MW in sellable capacity by 2020. Its net attributable capacity as of mid-2018 was around 3,000 MW.
Additional capacity was scheduled to be added starting last year — from the 420-MW third unit of Pagbilao Energy Corp., the 68.8-MW Manolo Fortich hydro power plant of Hedcor Bukidnon, Inc., and the 340-MW coal-fired power plant of Therma Visayas, Inc. — Victor V. Saulon