GNPower plans to raise $1b

MACTAN, Cebu—GNPower Mariveles Coal Plant Ltd. plans to raise $1 billion this year to fund the construction of the first 600-megawatt unit of the 1,200-MW expansion of its coal plant in Bataan province.

GNPower, which is 17-percent controlled by AC Energy Holdings Corp. of the Ayala Group., owns the existing 600-MW coal-fired power plant in Mariveles, Bataan.

AC Energy president John Eric Francia told reporters at the sidelines of the 12th Apec Energy CEO Meetings that GNPower aimed to start the construction of the first 600-MW expansion of the Mariveles facility early next year.

“Right now, we have 2 by 300-MW GN Mariveles, existing. Right beside it, we have plans for 2 by 600-MW power plants…We could also phase that,” he said.

“We’re hoping to close [the funding] by this year. That’s our target, at least for the first unit.  We have to fund all of it to start construction,” Francia said.

Francia said the initial 600-MW expansion was targeted for completion by 2019.  He said the expansion project would have the same shareholders as the existing Mariveles plant.

GNPower Mariveles is presently owned by Sithe Global Power of the US and AC Energy.

Francia said the company was also negotiating with other buyers of the plant’s output.

“We do have some contracts already, but we wanted to be at a certain level for the first 600 MW…I think we’ll have to phase it [construction]. It’s more realistic that way. It would be hard to do the 1,200-MW because there are also others that are building [power projects],” he said.

AC Energy also owns a stake in GNPower Kauswagan Ltd. Co. that is building a 540-MW coal-fired power plant in Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte that is expected to help ease the supply shortage in Mindanao by 2017.

“For Kauswagan, we have made the financial commitment.We have started the project. Once we have cleared the land…the engineering design is ongoing.  So we just wanna clear the property and the engineering design is also ongoing. We are hoping to go full blast in a month or so,” Francia said earlier.

GN Power Kauswagan  signed the definitive documentation for the financing of the Kauswagan plant last year.

GNPower Kauswagan is controlled by AC Energy and the Philippine Investment Alliance for Infrastructure Fund and Power Partners Ltd. Co.

The total project cost, earlier estimated at around $1 billion, will be funded by both debt and equity.

“The construction is ongoing but we are prioritizing the compacting of the property.  There’s just a few cleanup as well.  The resettlement [of the people] is on its final stages,” Francia said.

The plant, consisting of four units of 135 MW each in the villages of Libertad and Tacub in the town of Kauswagan, is expected to be in full operation by 2017.

GNPower Kauswagan awarded Shanghai Electric Power Construction Co., a subsidiary of Power Construction Corp. of China, the contract for engineering, procurement and construction of the $1-billion thermal facility in May.

The plant will be equipped with cutting-edge equipment, including four Siemens steam turbines and generators manufactured in Germany.

Topics: GNPower
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