‘AboitizPower to reboot overseas plans in 2022’

ABOITIZ Power Corp. will resume exploring overseas investments, particularly in developing nations, by 2022.

“As you know, we have deferred our move in Vietnam during the pandemic. We see ourselves back by 2022 into the countries that we have chosen pre-pandemic,” said Aboitiz Power president Emmanuel Rubio.

Last April, the power firm terminated its planned acquisition of Vietnam’s Mekong Wind due to an undisclosed condition that was not met on time. AboitizPower subsidiary, AboitizPower International Pte. Ltd., was supposed to fully acquire Mekong Wind Pte. Ltd. from Armstrong Southeast Asia Clean Energy Fund Pte. Ltd. (AAM).

The supposed deal was worth $46 million.

Mekong Wind holds a 99-percent direct interest in Dam Nai Wind Power, which owns and operates the 39.4-megawatt (MW) onshore wind power facility in Ninh Thuan Province, Southern Vietnam.

Dam Nai Wind is one of the first wind power projects in Vietnam to have been successfully brought online with commercial operations having commenced in late 2017.

AboitizPower’s overseas plans included Myanmar and Indonesia.

“Together with our partners, we are exploring some projects in Indonesia. If ever there would be partners then we have to look for synergies, we’ve been exploring projects that we can be 100 percent or majority, those are the preferences,” Rubio had said. “We are looking for projects that are eligible for FIT (feed-in-tariff) and they are wind and solar projects, some operating, some for development.” Rubio also mentioned that liquefied natural gas (LNG) is now part of the company’s future plans to boost its power portfolio. “It’s an option we are seriously considering and we have created a team that will look at this option. In the next 10 years, we expect that gas will form part of our portfolio for baseload supply.”

Meanwhile, the company is in talks with two firms interested to purchase its 8.8megawatt (MW) biomass power plant operated by its wholly-owned subsidiary, Aseagas Corporation (Aseagas).

“Aseagas is still in the market but we are in discussions with an entity interested on purchasing the major equipment on site. We are also in discussion with an entity interested on the land,” said Rubio.

He did not identify the two interested buyers.

The biomass plant in Lian, Batangas ceased operations in November 2017 due to unavailability of the supply of organic effluent wastewater from Absolut Distillers Inc. This organic material was used to produce electricity upon conversion into renewable energy.

Rubio had said the total value of the asset is estimated at P3.7 billion, which represents Aseagas’ equity investment of P3.45 billion and the company’s remaining obligations of around P250 million.

It tapped asset disposal expert Astoca to sell the biomass power plant.

Aseagas is a subsidiary of Aboitiz Power, through Aboitiz Renewables, Inc., its holding company for its investments in renewable energy.

Aboitiz Power, meanwhile, is the holding company for the Aboitiz Group’s investments in power generation, distribution, and retail electricity services.

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