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MPIC unit teams up with Dole PHL for P1-B waste-to-energy project

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METRO PACIFIC Investments Corp. (MPIC) has partnered with fruit products manufacturer Dole Philippines, Inc. (DPI) for a P1-billion waste-to-energy project, marking its foray into the bio-energy sector.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Tuesday, the infrastructure conglomerate said its wholly owned subsidiary Metpower Venture Partners Holdings, Inc. (MVPHI) through Surallah Biogas Ventures Corp. (SBVC) has finalized the deal to design, construct, and operate a biogas facility for DPI.

The facility will convert organic fruit waste from DPI’s Surallah and Polomolok factories in South Cotabato. This is expected to produce about 50,000 megawatt-hour of clean energy annually, which DPI will use for power generation and as an alternative to fossil fuels.

“Both MPI and DPI believe that this long-term project is an innovative, environment-friendly, and sustainable waste management solution consistent with, and further elevates the business tradition of DPI. Further, the project positively impacts climate change through CO2 (carbon dioxide) emission reduction by approximately 100,000 tons per year,” MPIC said.

The company said it will use internally-generated funds to finance the project.

The facility marks MPIC’s entry in the bio-energy sector, as part of MVPHI’s plan to build a scalable waste-to-energy platform in the country.

MPIC, in a consortium with Covanta Energy LLC and Macquarie Group Ltd., has also partnered with the local government of Quezon City for an integrated solid waste management facility. The facility will have the capacity to convert up to 3,000 metric tons a day from Quezon City’s municipal waste to 42 megawatts, which can power around 60,000 to 90,000 homes.

The P15-billion project will undergo Swiss Challenge next year, which the company looks to implement shorty after.

In a separate disclosure, MPIC also said it has signed a 10-year term loan worth P5 billion with Union Bank of the Philippines carrying a fixed interest rate. The proceeds will be used for the firm’s investment in “various projects and for other general corporate purposes.”

MPIC booked a core net income of P12.2 billion in the first nine months of 2018, 8% higher year-on-year, after system-wide revenues also grew 8% to P302.9 billion mainly due to the growth of its power generation, railway, and water units.

The company is one of three Philippine units of Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being PLDT, Inc. and Philex Mining Corp. Hastings Holdings, Inc. — a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc. — maintains interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls.

Shares in MPIC slipped 0.65% or three centavos to close at P4.62 each at the stock exchange on Tuesday. — Arra B. Francia





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