Aboitiz Power gets P10-b loan

Hedcor Bukidnon Inc., a wholly-owned unit of Aboitiz Renewables Inc. of Aboitiz Power Corp., obtained loans and credit accommodations amounting to P10 billion to finance the construction of the 68.8-megawatt Manolo Fortich hydro power plant in Bukidnon province.

Aboitiz Power said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange it raised the loan from a consortium of lender-banks.

BPI Capital Corp. acted as lead arranger and book runner of the syndicated loan, while Bank of the Philippine Islands-Asset Management and Trust Group served as trustee and facility Agent.

Hedcor plans to complete the hydro power plant by the end of 2017.

“We actually have a very solid pipeline of hydro projects between now and 2019, 2020, there maybe 200 MW [of power capacity]. I think we can hit about 200 MW of run-of-river [hyrdo] scattered around Northern Luzon, Mindanao and we’re even looking at the Visayas,” Aboitiz Power president and chief operating officer Antonio Moraza said.

Aboitiz Power chief executive Erramon Aboitiz earlier said the company had budgeted P52 billion for the company’s capital expenditure budget this year to boost generation capacity to 4,000 MW by 2019 from around 2,400 MW today.

“Along with the increase in non-renewable capacity, we are also vigorously pursuing and growing our renewable energy portfolio,” he said.

The company recently started commercial operations of the first 150-MW unit of the 300 MW coal-fired power plant in Davao City.

Aboitiz Power’s new projects include a partnership with Sun Edison Inc. of the US on solar, several run-of-river hydro stations, a potential pump storage for SN Aboitiz Power and several geothermal fields around the country.

Aboitiz Power president and chief operating officer Antonio Moraza, earlier said open access was the best way to support the company’s expansion.

“The company looks forward to the continued drop in the threshold for contestable customers from the current 1 MW and above to 750 kilowatts, and eventually to 500 kW, in order to encourage more investors and assure the viability of the Philippine power industry,” he said.

Moraza said the company planned to maximize the benefits of open access through a balanced portfolio of contracted and spot capacity, and contract majority of its baseload and diesel capacity under price-stable bilateral contracts.

He said Aboitiz Power would offer most of its hydro power capacity for peaking and ancillary or reserves services.

“Doing it this way will minimize volatility while yielding the highest returns for its resources,” Moraza said.

He said the company expects “slight improvement in earnings” this year with the start of operations of the 300-MW coal plant of Therma South Inc. in Mindanao and the 14-MW hydro station of Hedcor Sabangan in Mountain Province.

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