Aboitiz Power formalizes interest on Psalm assets

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Aboitiz Power Corp. has formalized its interest to participate in the bidding of some of the assets of the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (Psalm), including the 640-megawatt Unified Leyte geothermal power project.

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“We’re interested in the privatization of some of Psalm’s assets. In fact, we have registered for Unified Leyte. We also registered for the Mindanao diesel barges, so yes, we’re still open to privatization of Psalm assets,” AboitizPower’s president and chief executive officer, Erramon Aboitiz, told reporters during the celebration of the 25th anniversary of Aboitiz Foundation on Wednesday.

Aboitiz further said that the Aboitiz Group’s power business has formalized its interest to join the auction for the aforementioned Psalm assets through a letter of intent.

According to him, the group has applied its participation in the Unified Leyte bidding under its unit, Aboitiz Renewables, but it may eventually form a special purpose vehicle for the project.

“Our program now is really to build more capacity, new capacity,” Aboitiz added.

“We’re doing one in Davao which hopefully will be finished by early 2015. There’s a 300-megawatt plant in Cebu, hopefully start that by early next year. We are also looking at expanding our Pagbilao Plant by putting a third unit. And then of course, we’re doing a lot of small hydro projects. We are also studying some geothermal sites. That basically is where our focus is, building new capacity rather than looking at buying existing assets,” he further said.

Meanwhile, Aboitiz confirmed that AboitizPower is indeed in talks with Psalm regarding the prepayment of its obligations to the government amounting to $1 billion.

“We had conversations before and we are waiting for Psalm to really to comeback with us. I think they have to get the approval from government agencies like DOF [Department of Finance]. We’ve expressed that we’re prepared to look at it,” Aboitiz said.

“It’s very long term, all the way up to 2026,” he added.

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