Aboitiz to spend $680-M to raise power capacity, eyes Indonesia

Reuters

Posted at Dec 04 2014 02:56 PM | Updated as of Dec 04 2014 10:56 PM

MANILA - Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc. will spend $680 million to increase the capacity of two of its coal-fired power plants, and is also looking to invest in power generation in Indonesia, its top executive said on Thursday.

The $6.7 billion power, banking and property development group is pushing to expand its power generation portfolio to sustain growth in the future, while keeping an eye on infrastructure projects such as roads and airports the Philippine government offers to investors.

The group's Aboitiz Power Corp unit will add 340 megawatts to the combined 640 MW capacity of plants in Cebu and Davao provinces, president Erramon Aboitiz said in a press briefing. The project is expected to be completed by early 2018.

In anticipation of a steady growth in domestic power demand, Aboitiz said the group is looking to expand its total power generation capacity by 2,000 MW to more than 4,000 MW over the next three to four years.

Aboitiz Power's current capacity accounts for about a fifth of the Philippines' total power generation capacity.

Aboitiz said the group also sees opportunities to make its first offshore investment in power in Indonesia.

"We like what we see in Indonesia," he said, citing the changes happening in Southeast Asia's biggest economy as new Indonesian President Joko Widodo implements reforms, including cutting back on generous fuel subsidies.

"Indonesia will require a lot of power in the future and we have talked to several players in that market," Aboitiz said, although he declined to name any potential Indonesian partners.

The Aboitiz group would also look at investment opportunities in other Southeast Asian countries, including Myanmar, he said. Its only offshore venture to date is in feed production for fish farms in Vietnam.