THE power unit of listed-company Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc. (AEV) will borrow approximately P44 billion to ramp up the construction of its power facilities in the Visayas and Mindanao.
Stephen Paradies, AEV Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) said AboitizPower is in the advanced stage of closing several project finance packages for its newest greenfield power plant projects.
Among these projects are the 510 megawatt (MW) baseload power plant in Toledo City in Cebu and the 68MW Manolo Fortich hydropower plant in Bukidnon.
The Cebu plant is being developed by the Therma Visayas Inc. while the Bukidnon plant is being developed by Hedcor, both subsidiaries of AboitizPower.
The AEV official said the company also intends to tap the retail bond market in the second half of the year to fund various infrastructure-related businesses. “I am grateful to the various domestic and foreign financial institutions for their valuable support in all these debt transactions,” he said.
Manuel Lozano, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of AboitizPower, said they are looking to borrow from local sources P34 billion for the Toledo power plant and up to P10 billion for the Bukidnon hydro facility.
“Both of them are local consortium and both of them we expect to close the transactions within the third quarter,” Lozano said.
AEV grew its first quarter net income by 16 percent to P4.1 billion, compared to its level in the same period last year.
The company’s core income also stood at the same figure of P4.1 billion, but was down by seven percent from a year ago.
Among all the units, the power segment provided the bulk of 79 percent, equivalent to P3.3 billion of total income, which was higher by four percent from the previous year’s contribution.
Erramon Aboitiz, AEV and AboitizPower chief executive officer (CEO), said AboitizPower’s income contribution to AEV this year amounted to P12.7 billion, a 10-percent decrease from the previous year.
He said the drop in earnings was due to the full-year impact of the new steam supply agreement (the Geothermal Resource Sales Contract) of their Tiwi-MakBan plants, limited operations at the Magat plant due to low water levels, and the expiration of the Pagbilao and Magat plants’ income tax holidays.
“Our large hydro plants were also adversely affected by lower average prices for both spot and ancillary services sales,” he said.
The Company CEO said that this year, AboitizPower’s total attributable net sellable generating capacity is expected to increase to 2,532MW from 2,250MW after the optimization of 8MW Binga hydro plant and the commissioning of the 14MW Sabangan hydro plant, and 260MW Davao coal plant.
As part of the company’s program to increase power generation capacity by over 2,000MW over the next five years, it will be investing P52 billion in 2015 in various greenfield and brownfield projects.
“Along with the increase in non-renewable capacity, we are also vigorously pursuing and growing our renewable energy portfolio,” said Aboitiz.
AEV is the public holding company of the Aboitiz Group with major investments in power, banking, food, land and infrastructure.