ABOITIZ Power Corp. has scheduled the two units of a subsidiary’s 1,336-megawatt (MW) supercritical coal-fired power plant in Dinginin, Bataan to start operating commercially around the middle of next year.

In a statement late on Wednesday, the listed energy company said the first unit of GN Power Dinginin Ltd. Co. is set to synchronize with the grid by the end of the year and start operating by the second quarter of 2021.

The second unit will be synchronized and start earning commissioning revenues by the second quarter of next year. It is scheduled to start operating commercially by the third quarter. The two units have an identical capacity.

AboitizPower, which accounted for nearly half of Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc.’s income as of the third quarter, said its ownership of the plant allows it to surpass its 4,000-MW target “attributable” capacity while serving the country’s base load energy demand.

AboitizPower did not give details on its attributable capacity or its share in the new energy generating project. GNPower Dinginin is a joint venture of AC Energy, Inc., AboitizPower subsidiary Therma Power, Inc. and Power Partners Ltd. Co.

On its website, the GNPower Dinginin claims to be the “biggest coal-fired power plant” to be built in the Philippines. It currently has contracts with 30 distribution utilities and two retail electricity suppliers.

The target commercial run of the power plant comes as AboitizPower suffered a 32% fall in its third-quarter consolidated net income to P3.3 billion.

For the three quarters to September, its net income plunged by 48% to P7 billion, including non-recurring gains. Without the one-off gains, its core net income was down 53% to P6.5 billion.

Emmanuel V. Rubio, president and chief executive officer of AboitizPower, said in a virtual media briefing on Wednesday evening that the company’s third-quarter performance was 39% better than the second quarter partly due to the availability of more coal facilities and the easing of lockdown measures.

“This was on account of higher availability of our coal facilities, better hydrology [in preparation for] La Nina for the rest of the year until Q1 of 2021, and higher customer demand given the looser quarantine,” Mr. Rubio said.

However, he noted that earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) were pushed back by 11% year on year because of lower demand due to the global health crisis, and lower water inflows in the company’s hydro facilities.

He added that AboitizPower paid more taxes during the third quarter of the year since its income tax holidays had expired during that period.

“The pandemic has significantly impacted our financial performance, but we have sustained the delivery of much-needed energy products and services to our customers and our communities,” Mr. Rubio said.

He also talked about the company’s growth strategy in the next decade, which focused on “significantly growing their renewables portfolio and shifting their energy mix into a 50-50 ‘Cleanergy’ and thermal capacity.”

The AboitizPower executive said that, moving forward, the company aims to focus on environmental sustainability as it implements its 10-year strategy.

AboitizPower shares on Thursday closed at P27.15 apiece, a 1.69% increase from its previous finish. — Angelica Y. Yang