Ayala-Phinma power plant to start next year

By Iris C. Gonzales, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jan 29 2013 07:54 AM | Updated as of Jan 29 2013 03:54 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Conglomerate Ayala Corp., through its power subsidiary AC Energy Corp., and the Phinma Group’s Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corp. will start operating their P12-billion power plant joint venture in Calaca, Batangas in the third quarter of 2014, a top official said yesterday.

In an interview, Trans-Asia president Francisco Viray said the two companies are on track with their Calaca project, with construction ongoing.

“We are on track. It will be for commission in the third quarter of 2014,” Viray said.

The two companies signed the joint venture agreement in 2011 to develop and operate the 135-megawatt coal power plant in Calaca.

Ayala Corp. and Trans-Asia agreed to incorporate a joint venture company, South Luzon Thermal Energy Corp., equally owned by them and which had an initial capitalization of P200 million.

The 135-MW thermal power plant in Batangas had an estimated cost of P12 billion to be financed by debt and equity.

Viray said the project has been fully funded already and is just awaiting completion.

“The project has been fully funded. It’s really just the construction that we are waiting for,” Viray said.

He is also optimistic on business prospects of the plant because open access regime, which would soon be in place.

“We’re optimistic that there will be enough market because of the open access will be ready in June so there will be a market,” Viray said.

Under the open access scheme, large power users will be able to choose their own suppliers, in contrast with the current system where they are limited to the supplier that has jurisdiction over their areas.

Mandated under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act, open-access is expected to spur competition among players.

Trans-Asia earlier tapped BDO Capital and Investments Corp. as the lead arranger of a loan of P8.75 billion to fund at least 70 percent of the plant.