Vivant sees 'total' business recovery in 2022, eyes investing up to P3-B in Cebu project


Posted at Dec 01 2020 12:46 PM

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MANILA - Power firm Vivant Corp. said on Tuesday it expects total business recovery by 2022 as the effects of the pandemic is seen to stretch until the third to fourth quarter of next year.

"We see the pandemic extending into the third or fourth quarter of 2021. A lot of our current developments should shore in 2022 or 2023. We don't see our numbers going back to 2019 levels until about 2022," Arlo Sarmiento, Vivant Corp President, told ANC's Market Edge.

Despite slower business movement in the power space, Vivant is looking to enter the water services market and invest P1.5 billion to P3 billion for a desalination project in Cebu. This is seen to deliver 20 to 30 million liters per day (MLD) water supply to Cebuanos.

"We look for pockets of opportunity especially here in Cebu where we could help communities. Right now, water is where we want to go...The future water sources in Cebu are in desalination. In the Philippines, we do not have large scale utility size desalination plants. We hope to be one of the first to bring desalination to the Philippines and here in Cebu," Sarmiento said.

Power firms like Vivant are looking at seizing the opportunities in the water sector in Cebu, such as power firm Citicore building a P3.4-billion desalination plant in Lapu-Lapu City through its unit Citicore Summar Water or CSWater.

Desalination is the treating of seawater for freshwater supply to households.

For power, Sarmiento said Vivant is focusing on "niche markets" that will bring them to their target of 30 percent renewable energy of their total portfolio by 2030.

He also sees that the company will continue to sustain higher earnings in residential electricity compared to the decline in industrial and commercial electricity sales due to strong electricity consumption in homes amid the new normal.

"Even post-COVID, we found that remote work is possible. We think there will be a permanent shift to higher residential consumption even after COVID," Sarmiento said.

The company said it recognizes opportunities in small island grids in countries like Indonesia, Guam and Malaysia, but is not pushing to go into overseas ventures anytime soon and instead focus in opportunities locally.

Vivant has business interests in electric power generation, renewable energy and retail electric supply.

Vivant is among the three Philippine firms listed under Forbes Asia's "Best Under a Billion" which looks at top performing small to mid-sized listed companies.