AboitizPower to install 500 MW of new power by 1st half of 2018

MANILA, Philippines – AboitizPower, the country's second largest power producer, will add around 500 megawatts (MW) of installed capacity within the first 6 months of next year.

The capacity will come from the completion of several hydro and baseload power plants in Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao, according to AboitizPower president and chief operating officer Antonio Moraza.

"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," Moraza said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) on Wednesday, December 6.

"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.

AboitizPower and its partner, Norwegian firm SN Power, recently completed construction of the 8.5-MW Maris Canal hydro project in Isabela, while wholly-owned subsidiary Hedcor is wrapping up construction of a 68.8-MW hydro plant in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon.

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

Aseagas decision

Moraza added that AboitizPower expects to make a final decision within the year on Aseagas Corporation's 8.8-MW biomass power plant in Batangas, which remains under extended shutdown.

Aseagas is a wholly-owned subsidiary of AboitizPower, through Aboitiz Renewables, its holding company for its investments in renewable energy.

"We are currently continuing our technical evaluation, and a write-off is a possibility," Moraza said in a separate disclosure last Monday, December 4.

The biomass plant temporarily stopped operations on November 24 due to unavailability of the supply of organic effluent wastewater from Absolut Distillers.

"After evaluating the circumstances and the ongoing technical problems relating to the plant's fuel stock and digester components, it decided to maintain the shutdown and to determine the appropriate way forward," Aseagas said.

The company added that it prepaid its outstanding loan with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) amounting to P2.368 billion.

Aside from the DBP loan, Aseagas also invested equity of around P950 million for the biomass plant, and has around P60 million in outstanding liabilities. – Rappler.com