AEV trims 2016 capex to P58.4B

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LISTED Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV), the holding and investment company of the Aboitiz Group, has trimmed its capital expenditure for this year to P58.4 billion from P60 billion 2015 with its power business still getting the bulk of its spending.

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In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Tuesday, Erramon Aboitiz, AEV president and chief executive officer, said this year’s capital expenditure is 2.6 percent lower than last year’s amount.

AboitizPower, which comprises about 75 percent of the company’s business, gets the lion’s share of the budget with P52 billion, or 89 percent, of AEV’s capex for the year.

AEV said this allocation is in line with its commitment, along with its partners, to beef up AboitizPower’s total capacity to 4,000 mega watts (MW) by 2020.

As of end-2015, AboitizPower had attributable net sellable capacity of 2,402 MW.

AboitizPower said that within the first quarter of the year, it will launch its first solar power project in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental.

Last month, it inaugurated the 300-MW Therma South, Inc. baseload plant in Davao, providing needed capacity to the Mindanao Grid. Unit 1 started operations in September last year while Unit 2 started full commercial operations last week.

Other ongoing construction projects include the 68-MW Manolo Fortich hydropower plant in Bukidnon, an 8.5-MW hydropower plant in Isabela, the 300-MW Therma Visayas baseload plant in Cebu, and the 400-MW Pagbilao III expansion in Quezon Province.

AboitizPower also identified roughly 200 MW of potential run-of-river power projects located across the country’s archipelago for the next five years.

Meanwhile, AEV’s banking and financial services companies will have a combined budget of P968 million, of which P871 million is earmarked for UnionBank’s initiatives to push growth in customer businesses supported by loan expansion.

The remaining P97 million, on the other hand, will be allocated for the branch network expansion of its remittance business PETNET and full-blown execution of the loan origination program on behalf of CitySavings Bank.

Meanwhile, the Group’s food unit Pilmico, will get P2.3 billion for capital spending this year for its flour, feeds and farm divisions.

The budget set aside for Pilmico, the company said, is aimed at expanding its customer reach in the Asean region as well as diversifying its operations in the country.

Lastly, AboitizLand will get P2.7 billion for the purpose of acquiring more industrial and residential lands as it continues to expand its business outside of Cebu.

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