Aboitiz, SN Power win Philippines auction of 175-MW Ambuklao-Binga

Philippine power producer Aboitiz Power and Norway’s Statkraft Norfund Power Invest (SN Power) won a November 28 auction for privatization of the Philippines’ 75-MW Ambuklao and 100-MW Binga hydroelectric projects.

The SN Aboitiz Power Hydro consortium, which already acquired the Philippines’ largest hydropower plant, 360-MW Magat, offered US$325 million for the Ambuklao and Binga hydropower plants in the northern Philippines’ Benguet Province. (HNN 8/28/07)

The only other bidder was Calaca Power Partners Co. Ltd., a partnership led by the Singaporean unit of U.S. power developer AES Corp., which offered US$305.5 million. Calaca previously acquired the 600-MW Masinloc coal plant. First Gen Corp. of the Philippines, which acquired the 112-MW Pantabangan-Masiway hydro complex in 2006, qualified but did not bid. (HNN 5/10/07)

Aboitiz Power President Erramon Aboitiz said SN Aboitiz Power would finance the acquisition of the Ambuklao and Binga through bank loans.

The World Bank’s International Finance Corp., Norway Industrial, HSBC, Bank of the Philippine Islands, Banco de Oro, Philippine National Bank, China Bank, and Security Bank provided funding for Aboitiz’s US$530 million Magat hydropower plant purchase last year. (HNN 10/3/07) Aboitiz said it could tap those banks to finance its latest purchase.

The government’s Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) is attempting to raise up to US$5 billion over several years by selling power plants of debt-strapped National Power Corp. (Napocor). PSALM President Jose Ibazeta said he was delighted that foreign investors were taking an interest.

Ambuklao and Binga are located 19 kilometers apart on the Agno River at Bokod and Itogon in Benguet Province of Luzon Island. (HNN 5/18/07) Ambuklao, which has three 25-MW turbine-generators, was completed in December 1956 and has been under preservation by Napocor since 2000. Binga, which has four 25-MW units, was commissioned in 1960.

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