SN Aboitiz wins loan for Philippines’ 175-MW Ambuklao-Binga

Winning privatization bidder SN Aboitiz Power Benguet Inc. has secured a US$375 million syndicated loan to partly fund the purchase and rehabilitation of the 75-MW Ambuklao and 100-MW Binga hydroelectric projects in the Philippines.

Philippine power producer Aboitiz Power and Norway’s Statkraft Norfund Power Invest (SN Power) won a 2007 auction offering US$325 million for the Ambuklao and Binga hydropower plants in the northern Philippines’ Benguet Province. The Philippines’ privatization agency turned over the projects July 10 (HNN 7/14/08)

SN Aboitiz said August 8 it formed the loan agreement with the World Bank’s International Finance Corp., Nordic Investment Bank, Banco de Oro Unibank, Bank of the Philippine Islands, BPI Asset Management and Trust Group, China Banking Corp., Development Bank of the Philippines, Philippine National Bank, and Security Bank Corp.

Ambuklao and Binga are located 19 kilometers apart on the Agno River at Bokod and Itogon in Benguet Province of Luzon Island. Ambuklao, which has three 25-MW turbine-generators, was completed in December 1956 and has been under preservation by National Power Corp. (Napocor) since 2000. Binga, which has four 25-MW units, was commissioned in 1960.

SN Aboitiz is to rehabilitate and recommission Ambuklao, which has been shut down due to silt problems, upgrade Binga, and increase the combined capacity by 50 MW in total, 30 MW for Ambuklao and 20 MW for Binga.

Ambuklao’s rehabilitation, through July 2010, is to include construction of a new intake and a new tailrace at higher elevations, installation of new electrical and mechanical equipment, erosion repairs, and repairs to gates.

Binga’s rehabilitation, through early 2013, is to include construction of a new intake similar to Ambuklao’s, improvement of spillway capacity, embankment repairs, and installation of new electrical and mechanical equipment, including generating units.

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