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Aboitiz, Uy Gongco join forces

Aboitiz Power Corp. teamed up with flour producer La Filipina Uy Gongco Corp. to bid for the right to manage the 210-megawatt output of the Mindanao coal fired power plant in November.

Aboitiz Power president and chief operating officer Antonio Moraza said the company agreed to join La Filipina Uy Gongco in bidding for the selection and appointment of the independent power producer administrator of the coal plant in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental.

“We’re definitely going for it and we will be very aggressive. We’re partnering with La Filipina. As a matter of fact, they have the majority… The bidder is La Filipina [and] we’re partnering with them,” Moraza said.

Iloilo-based La Filipina Uy Gongco Group, a conglomerate headed by businessman Alfonso Uy that produces flour and bakery products, has a 15-percent interest in Steag State Power Inc., which operates the coal facility.  Steag GmbH of Germany owns a 51-percent stake while Aboitiz has 34 percent.

Mindanao coal plant was constructed in 2006 under a 25-year build-operate-transfer-power purchase agreement that would last until 2031.  It supplies a fifth of the power requirement of Mindanao.

The IPPA contract involves the procurement of the power plant’s fuel requirements and the management of the contracted energy output of the facilities, including the sale of power and offering of ancillary services.

Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp.  earlier said around six companies were expected to participate in the bidding to manage the output of  the  Mindanao coal plant.

PSALM president Lourdes Alzona said from the original 12 interested parties, around 10 to 11 companies bought bid documents in preparation for the bidding.

Some of the companies forged joint ventures, which effectively trimmed the number of interested parties. PSALM set the bidding on Nov. 25.

Alzona said the bidders were informed of the proposed three-year lock-in period, which meant the winning bidder could not increase its supply cost to the electric cooperative for three years.

PSALM and the Energy Department previously came up with a compromise  that paved the way for an IPP to administer and manage the contract of the Mindanao coal plant.

Former Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla wanted to suspend the bidding of the Mindanao coal contracts to protect Mindanao customers against higher electricity prices.

Petilla said electric cooperatives would be forced to take the price of the winning IPP administrator.

Other companies that earlier expressed interest in the IPP contract were Therma Southern Mindanao Inc. of the Aboitiz Group; Conal Holdings Corp.; FDC Davao Del Norte Power Corp.; FirstGen Northern Power Corp.; GDF Suez Energy Philippines, Inc.; Masinloc Power Partners Co. Ltd.; Meralco Powergen Corp.; Nexif Pte Ltd.; SMC Global Power Holdings Corp.; SPC Power Corp.; Team (Philippines) Energy Corp.; and Vivant Energy Corp. 

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