Aboitiz to bid for Philippines power assets

Aboitiz Power Corp., which already won a share of the Philippines’ largest hydropower plant, plans to bid in upcoming privatization auctions for other state-run power assets, including hydropower and coal plants.

Aboitiz said it plans to participate in the July 26 re-bid for the 600-MW Masinloc coal-fired plant after a Malaysian-controlled group backed out of the privatization.

“We are in the race,” Erramon Aboitiz said May 17, adding that the family-run generation and distribution company is studying plans to bid alone for the plant in the north of the country.

Aboitiz previously said his firm plans to invest between 15 billion pesos (US$321 million) and 20 billion pesos (US$428 million) in the power sector over the next three years to meet demand from an expanding economy.

Aboitiz Power is a unit of Aboitiz Equity Ventures. The group plans to list more than a quarter of its shares and raise up to 12 billion pesos (US$256 million) in an initial public offering later this year.

In addition to its five electricity distribution units, including the country’s second-largest, Visayan Electric, Aboitiz also has interests in six generation plants. Hydropower accounts for over 60 percent of its generating capacity.

The company wants to expand further into renewable energy with possible bids for privatization of the 100-MW Binga and 75-MW Ambuklao hydropower plants in northern Philippines. The government’s Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. said earlier this month it expects to take bids this year for the two plants. (HNN 5/10/07)

In December, a joint venture between Aboitiz Power and Statkraft Norfund Power Invest of Norway won the bidding for the Philippines’ largest hydropower plant, 360-MW Magat, with a US$530 million tender. (HNN 12/14/06)

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