Saturday, June 2, 2012

Aboitiz Sets P170-B Investments In Power

MANILA, Philippines --- Publicly listed company Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV) announced it has earmarked some P170 billion in capital expenditures (capex) for the next three to five years, the bulk of which will be spent to address the power supply shortage in the country, particularly in Mindanao. AEV President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Erramon I. Aboitiz announced that of the total capex, P35 billion of which will be for projects pipelined for Mindanao, including setting up of a 354-megawatt (MW) in new capacity by 2015 to address the critical power woes in the region. "This new capacity will come from the 300-MW clean coal facility of Therma South and 54-MW of runof- river hydro plants of Hedcor," said Aboitiz during the recent AEV annual stockholders meeting held here. Aboitiz said that with the company's partnerships with the Meralco Group and Taiwan Corporation, as firewell as the Team Energy Philippines Corporation, AEV is adding 1,000 MW of capacity to the Luzon Grid. In the Visayas, however, he said the capacity is still enough to serve the demand in the next five to four years. However, Aboitiz said eventually the company will be looking at another plant to be built in the Visayas by late 2016. AEV's annual financial reports showed that the company's consolidated net income for 2011 was at P21.2 billion recording a marginal decline verses the 2010 level. AEV said the softening of the spot the spot market prices at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) was the main driver for the lower topline performance given reduced revenues coming from its power generation business. Lower net generation, soft spot market prices and increased coal costs brought on lower margins for its power generation business, Aboitiz said adding that the food unit (Pilmico) also contended with increased input costs during the year (2011). However, these declining performances were offset by the strong showing of the company's banking group Union Bank and City Savings Bank. Of the total earnings contributions from the different strategic business units, power took the major lead contributing P16.5 billion, 78 percent of the total earnings contributions from its operating businesses. The banking and food units ranked second and third contributing 16 percent and six percent, respectively. "The country proved resilient enough to face these challenges, resulting in modest economic growth of 3.7 percent. AEV, likewise turned in a steady performance, remaining on course in its strategic intents through the wind that powered us to extraordinary heights in 2010 had slowed down," Aboitiz said. Aboitiz said that the company envisioned that its growth will come from new Greenfield and Brownfield projects that will be needed to supply its expanding economy of the Philippines. In a related development, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) inaugurated its P147-million Regional Control Center in Cagayan de Oro City to serve as its new power control center for the Mindanao grid. Constructed from Oct. 26, 2010 to April 19, 2012, the new facility incorporates state-of-the-art SCADA/EMS systems and telecommunications equipment and also serves as the office of the Mindanao System Operations, which was previously based in Iligan City. "The new regional control center serves as the nerve center for grid operations in Mindanao equipped with modern power monitoring and control systems," the NGCP said, adding that the facility was inaugurated last May 24. Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) refers to a collection of computers, equipment and application software integrated into a system to acquire real-time data on power system parameters and to provide monitoring and control facility for remote devices such as breakers. Energy Management System (EMS), on the other hand, is basically composed of a SCADA system with integrated advanced applications used in the management of the power grid. (With a report from Ellson A. Quismorio)