Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Villages ok expansion of hydro plant

Sunstar Davao
BARANGAYS Astorga and Sibulan in Sta. Cruz town in Davao del Sur gave their consent to AboitizPower Corp.'s wholly-owned subsidiary Hedcor to build two more plants in the said town with a total capacity of 13.6 MW.
Simultaneous to the giving of consent, Hedcor with the barangay councils signed a memorandum of agreement where benefits to the host communities from the project were specified.
Dubbed as the Tudaya Hydropower Project, the Tudaya 1 Hydropower Project is proposed to be located upstream of the Sibulan Hydro A Power Plant while the Tudaya Hydropower Project is to be built below the Sibulan Hydro B Power Plant.
The exploration began in 2010, and in early 2011. Hedcor engineers started design of Tudaya 1 in Sibulan and Tudaya 2 in Astorga. Now, Hedcor is working with the permits before the construction will start.
"Dako namong kalipay ang pag-abot sa Hedcor dinhi sa among lugar (We're jubilant Hedcor came to our place)," Barangay Astorga Captain Sergio Languita said before the representatives of Hedcor and Astorga barangay council.
Astorga is the second largest barangay in Sta Cruz with a population of approximately 11,000. The benefits will start in the next few months with the community services, scholarship grants, and reforestation to their barangay. After the first operational year of the plant, they will also receive royalty from Hedcor.
Sibulan Captain Lydia Ang said, "Hedcor is indeed a blessing to us. We availed of free medical services, we have sent many children to school, we have developed our reforestation program and we received an annual royalty."
Hedcor is committed to promote clean energy and will continue to look for more potential to develop to bring it to more Filipinos.
AboitizPower is the holding company of the Aboitiz Group's investments in power generation, distribution, retail and power services. It is a major producer of Cleanergy, its brand for clean and renewable energy in the Philippines with several hydroelectric and geothermal assets in its generation portfolio, and also has non-renewable power plants located across the country.
The company owns distribution utilities that operate in high-growth areas in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 01, 2011.

Meralco sees improved profit picture

business mirror


Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), the country’s largest power distributor, expects its financial performance this year to be better than last year, Manuel V. Pangilinan, company president and chief executive, said on Tuesday.
“Our financial position is going to be certainly ahead this year compared with last year. Overall, core net income for the year is expected to be better this year compared to last year,” the Meralco official told reporters in a press conference after the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting.
Pangilinan declined to provide specific guidance numbers, but quickly described that Meralco’s core net income in the first half is expected to be ahead than the same period last year.
“We choose to be cautious about our outlook for 2011, the presence of promising opportunities for Meralco provides continuing optimism. We have expressed our intent to return to  power generation and to diversify into allied businesses. Our affiliation with the infrastructure businesses of the sector companies provides fertile ground for our products and services—existing and new—to grow into,” he said.
Pangilinan said the second-half performance remains uncertain because this period is when the tariff reset—pending the approval of the Energy Regulatory Commission—will take effect by July.
Pangilinan said they will focus on strengthening the core distribution utility business and that improving efficiencies is a continuing agenda because of the customers’ growing requirements and need for reliable, quality, efficient and affordable service.
The Meralco executive emphasized on the need to create a vertically integrated business model with the planned entry into the power generation business.
“Our participation in generation should help alleviate the need anticipated supply predicament as reserves from existing power plants tighten. This, too, will enable us to manage the perennial concern about high power rates,” he said.
Pangilinan added that their power generation portfolio carries a goal of building an aggregate capacity of 1,500 megawatts (MW) at a total estimated cost of about $2.3 billion over the next five years.
“This is a diverse package potentially consisting of busload coal-fired power plant, liquefied natural gas and aeroderivative gas turbines that adopt the high-efficiency capabilities of aircraft engines for peaking requirements,” he said.
Oscar Reyes, senior executive vice president and chief operating officer, said they will be initially focus on putting up their first coal-fired power plant that will likely involve local and regional players.
Reyes declined to specify the coal-fired power plant’s cost, but said a coal power plant usually costs about $2 million per megawatt to construct. He said Meralco is looking at a capacity requirement of 300 MW to 450 MW. They hope to put up the power plant by 2014 or 2015 as construction is scheduled to begin this year.
In 2010, Pangilinan told stockholders that Meralco’s core net income increased by 74 percent to P12.2 billion, while consolidated net income grew by 61 percent to P9.7 billion from P6 billion in 2009.
Pangilinan attributed the increase in net income to the surge in energy sales volumes at 30,247 gigawatt-hours (GWh) last year from 27,516-GWh in 2009. As result, consolidated revenues rose 33 percent to P245.5 billion last year from P184.6 billion in 2009.
“Our electricity sales accounted for 97 percent at P239.1 billion last year from P178.7 billion in 2009. This, as the average distribution rates last year amounted to P1.44 per kilowatt-hour (kWh), which included the rate adjustment under the second regulatory period of the performance based regulation rate implemented in April 2010. The adjustment set the Maximum Average Price at P1.4917/kWh for the regulatory year 2019,” Pangilinan said.  

IN PHOTO -- MERALCO executives (from left) Alfredo Panlilio, senior vice president and customer retail services and corporate communications head; president and chief executive Manuel Pangilinan; and chairman Ambassador Manuel Lopez discuss the plan for the utility firm to adapt to the new generation electricity network that has the potential to create new products and services while elevating energy reliability and efficiency to eventually help bring down costs. --Paul Anthony Isla

Lanao Norte power consumers to PNoy: Don’t sell Agus, Pulangi

By Mindanews | Tuesday| May 31, 2011 

TUBOD, Lanao del Norte (MindaNews/30 May) – Some 65,000 power consumers in Lanao del Norte have expressed strong opposition to the impending privatization of the Agus and Pulangui hydropower plants that supply most of Mindanao’s power needs.
In a resolution passed during their 35th Annual General Membership Assembly and 39th founding anniversary held at the Mindanao Civic Center here on Sunday, members of the Lanao del Norte Electric Cooperative urged President Aquino not to privatize or defer the sale of the two hydropower complexes.
Based on Section 47 of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 (Epira), the two power plants may be sold to private investors 10 years after the passage of the law, or by next month.
LANECO general manager Resnol C. Torres said the 33 electric cooperatives in Mindanao under the Association of Mindanao Rural Electric Cooperative (AMRECO) and other groups have been working together for the deferment of the privatization.
Mindanao has the cheapest power rates compared to Luzon and Visayas and is very attractive to local and foreign investors, Torres said.
In a forum in Cagayan de Oro City last May 13, Senator Francis Escudero and Rep. Henidina Abad, chair of the House energy committee said they support the deferment of the sale of the two facilities for another 10 years as it will severely affect the ordinary power consumers.
Iligan City Rep. Vicente Belmonte, vice chair of the House energy committee said the House has already approved House Bill 0007 which urges the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management (PSALM) to defer the sale and privatization of the two complexes which have a combined generating capacity of 980 megawatts.
Meanwhile, Agakhan Sharief, a member of the Local Monitoring Team representing the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in Marawi City and Lanao del Sur said, “I will refer this critical issue to the MILF Central Committee for discussion considering that Lake Lanao which provides the power source in Mindanao  is within our ancestral domain.”
He, however, said that personally he opposes the privatization move. (MindaNews)

Aboitiz acquires 4 power barges

Manila Standard Today
A unit of Aboitiz Power Corp. has acquired four more power barges from private operators, the listed company said in a filing with the Philippine Stock Exchange.
Therma Mobile Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aboitiz Power, said it bought four barge-mounted floating power plants from Duracom Mobile Power Corp. and East Asia Diesel Power Corp.
Aboitiz Power said it had not decided where to transfer the barges from their current station in Navotas City.
Aboitiz Power currently operates two power barges in Mindanao, PB 117 and PB 118, which have a generating capacity of 100 megawatts each. PB 117 is moored in Agusan del Norte while PB 118 operates in the province of Compostela Valley.
Aboitiz Power acquired the two power barges through Therma Marine Inc., which won a negotiated bid conducted by earlier by Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp.
Aboitiz Power has said it is earmarking up to P100 billion in the next three years for new power projects. It plans to borrow up to P50 billion this year to finance the construction of two major coal projects in Subic and Davao before the end of 2011. Jeremiah F. de Guzma

First Holdings expects 2011 net income to fall by a third

Manila Times.net
LOPEZ-LED First Philippine Holdings Corp. expects earnings to fall by a third this year because of the rehabilitation of a subsidiary’s geothermal plants, the shutdown of another unit’s pipes, and the absence any one-time gain such as that coming from the sale of its shares in Manila Electric Co. (Meralco).
During the company’s annual stockholders’ meeting, Elpidio Ibañez, First Holdings president, said its recurring earnings will be negatively affected in the short term because it has discontinued recognizing equity in net earnings in Meralco shares.
Last year, the company recognized a P23.6-billion gain on sale of its Meralco shares, pushing First Holdings’ net income attributable to equity holders of the parent to P24.85 billion from P8.73 billion in 2009.
First Holdings’ net income attributable to the parent fell 98 percent to P567 million in the first three months of 2011 from P24.65 billion in the same period last year.
The conglomerate also programmed P8.8 billion in capital expenditure this year primarily for units Energy Development Corp. (EDC) and First Philec Solar.
“EDC will forego revenues and incur higher operating expenses as it undertakes the augmentation and rehabilitation of some of its geothermal steam field and power plants to achieve optimal performance levels,” Ibañez said.
EDC will spend P6.8 billion for the rehabilitation of the 192-megawatt Palinpinon and 112-megawatt Tongonan plants as well as the Bacon-Manito plants, which are expected to deliver 130 megawatts of generating capacity in 2012.
Another factor contributing to First Holdings’ slower growth is the continued shutdown of the pipeline of First Philippine Industrial Corp. “until we can assure the authorities and ourselves that we can operate it safely,” Ibañez said.
First Holdings said the clean up of the leak that was discovered in a pipeline in Barangay Bangkal, Makati will last three to four years.
First Philec also will earmark P2 billion for the expansion of its solar wafer slicing operations. It recently signed a joint venture agreement with Nexolon of Korea to put up a 400-megawatt solar wafer slicing facility in First Philec’s industrial park in Batangas. The plant would commence operation in the third quarter.
First Holdings shares were unchanged at P63 each on Monday.KRISTA ANGELA M. MONTEALEGRE

APC acquires 4 power barges

By Donnabelle L. Gatdula (The Philippine Star) Updated May 31, 2011 12:00 AM 

MANILA, Philippines - Therma Mobile Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Aboitiz Power Corp. (APC), has acquired four barge-mounted floating power plants from Duracom Mobile Power Corp. and East Asia Diesel Power Corp. (EADPC).
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, East Asia Power Resources Corp. (EAPRC), the holding company of EADPC, on the other hand, said YNN Holdings Corp. has acquired majority of shares od EADPC.
EADPC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of East Asia Power Resources Corp. (EAPRC), which was incorporated in 1975 and is based in Navotas City.
Through its subsidiaries, EAPRC engages in the ownership and operation of power generation facilities in Metro Manila. The company uses bunker diesel fuel in its power barges.
As of end-2009, it had a total installed power generating capacity of 242 megawatts. The company was formerly known as Northwest Holdings and Resources Corp.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Aboitiz firm acquires four power barges


MANILA, Philippines — Therma Mobile Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Aboitiz Power Corp., has purchased four power barges from Duracom Mobile Power Corp. and East Asia Diesel Power Corp.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Monday, Aboitiz Power corporate secretary M. Jasmine Oporto said the acquisition included the floating power generators’ respective operating facilities.
Details of the transaction were not revealed, however, due to a non-disclosure agreement among the parties.
The four power barges, all located in Navotas, Manila, have not been operating for the past few years due to both companies’ inability to recover the costs of operating the generation facilities.
East Asia Diesel, a wholly owned subsidiary of listed firm East Asia Power Resources Corp., owns 40 percent of Duracom.
Meanwhile, East Asia Power said in a separate disclosure that it had sold all of its shares in East Asia Diesel, as well as its credit interests in East Asia Diesel and Duracom to YNN Holding Corp.
East Asia Power corporate information officer Neko Lyree Uson-Cruz said the terms and conditions for the sale had already been fulfilled.
The share purchase agreement was signed last May 24, while the agreement of assignment of credit interests was inked last May 27. Both agreements had now been fully executed.
Apart from East Asia Diesel and Duracom, East Asia Power also owned, directly and indirectly, Sunrise Power Co. Inc., East Asia Global Management Ltd., East Asia Power Services Inc., East Asia Transmission and Distribution Corp., and First Engineering Utilities Service Corp.

City to face power problem ‘in 2-3 years’

Sunstar Iloilo
ILOILO City will again face power problem in two to three years with the influx of investors and business locators, a businessman said.
Rex Drilon of Ortigas Co. said the unprecedented economic growth of the city could mean power problem, given insufficient power supply in the city.
This calls for an additional power supply, Drilon, who also serves as vice chairman of Iloilo Economic Development Foundation Inc. (ILEDF), said.
Drilon was in Iloilo over the weekend to participate in the 4th annual general assembly of the association composed of Ilonggo business leaders based in Metro Manila.
The current power problem of the city was solved with the recent opening of the 164-megawatt coal-fired power plant at Ingore, La Paz, Iloilo City.
The power supply was then divided to power suppliers in Panay Island, particularly in the city and province of Iloilo through power purchase agreements.
However, the coal-fired power supply of Panay Energy Development Corp. (PEDC) and its sister diesel company Global Business Power Corp are not enough to feed the needs of big corporations to come this year, Drilon said.
He added there is a need for a private sector to come in and invest on base load power plants notwithstanding the emergence of several alternative power sources from biomass, wind, solar and water. (Lydia C. Pendon)

First Philippine Holdings to pursue power projects that will generate 280 MW


MANILA, Philippines — The Lopez-led First Philippine Holdings Corp. (FPH) plans to expand its power generation capacity by 280 megawatts in the next three to four years by mostly focusing on renewable energy.
FPH’s recurring earnings might decline this year by about a third compared to that of 2010, company president and chief operating officer Elpidio Ibanez told reporters after the company’s stockholders meeting.
Aside from the absence of one-time gains realized from the sale of shares in Manila Electric Co. in 2010, this year’s performance would be affected by foregone revenues as well as higher expenditures from the rehabilitation of geothermal power plants as well as the continuing suspension of a gas pipeline that previously leaked into a residential tower in Makati, he said.
On power distribution, FPH intends to keep its remaining 6.6 percent stake in Meralco, FPH chair and chief executive officer Federico Lopez said. FPH had sold most of its stake to the First Pacific group.
“There’s no intention of selling. Meralco is doing very well under Manny Pangilinan,” Lopez said.
Richard Tantoco, president of the geothermal unit Energy Development Corp., said the group’s greenfield power projects would focus on geothermal and wind energy.
The group’s power generation, through power holding firm First Gen Corp., has about 2,800 MWs, which will increase by another 130MW by the year’s end as BacMan geothermal power plant comes back on stream. At the same time, the group is drilling in new sectors within BacMan, scheduled for delivery to the national grid by 2014-2015.
Meanwhile, a wind power project in Burgos, Ilocos Norte, is in the pipeline with a projected capacity of 85 to 100 MW. Tantoco said EDC was hoping to start this project, which would cost $280 million to $300 million, within the year.
The 280-MW increase in capacity planned by 2014-2015 assumes that this wind project will move ahead while additional capacity in Bicol and Mindanao will progress as planned.
This capital, FPH’s group-wide capital spending is set at around P8.8 billion, consisting of around P6.8 billion for EDC’s expansion and another P2 billion for the solar wafer projects of the First Philec Solar Corp.

First Holdings allots P8.8 billion for geothermal and solar projects

business mirror


FIRST Philippine Holdings Corp. (FPHC), the listed holding company for the Lopez group’s power and real estate interests, is spending at least P8.8 billion this year to support its geothermal and solar manufacturing units.
Following its stockholders meeting on Monday, FPHC president Elpidio Ibañez said P6.8 billion will be used to rehabilitate its Bacon-Manito (Bac-Man) geothermal project in Bicol, operated by Energy Development Corp.
Another P2 billion will be used for expansion plans of First Philec Solar Corp., which operates a wafer slicing facility. The company allotted roughly P800 million last year in capital spending.
“We have always said this will be a transition year. This is the time for new investments,” Ibañez said. He added that recurring earnings may drop by a third in 2011.
“It all depends on how quickly we can put Bac-Man and how the manufacturing sector will be able to ramp up its business.” In 2010, FPHC said consolidated profit jumped 287 percent to P24.9 billion, mainly due to the sale of a 6.6-percent stake in Manila Electric Co. 
FPHC is also looking to refinance upcoming obligations to take advantage of low interest rate environment.
Ibañez said FPHC can refinance obligations amounting to P10 billion that are due through 2017. He said the company is evaluating its options although he declined to discuss additional details.
Company officials noted on Monday that FPHC will keep its remaining 6.6-percent stake in Meralco. 
FPHC reported earlier that first-quarter net income amounted to P567 million, lower than the P24.56 billion recorded during the same period last year when it sold shares of the power detailer. Revenue also dipped to P16.2 billion, from P18.76 billion in the first quarter of 2010. 
FPHC shares closed flat at P63 each on Monday.

Monark prepares for power outages

(The Philippine Star) Updated May 30, 2011 12:00 AM 

MANILA, Philippines -  Monark Equipment, the sole authorized dealer of Caterpillar and other leading heavy equipment brands in the Philippines, has presented its top-of-the-line models of generator sets (gensets) to key industries, as the country braces itself for power outages and interruptions during this time of the year. “Given the country’s tight power supply situation, its vital industries should be ready for any power interruptions and temporary shortage in supply,” Edmidio Ramos Jr., Monark Equipment president, said. For 24 years, Monark Equipment has been providing Philippine industries world-class, reliable, durable and cost-effective electric power solutions. The company’s track record boasts of a client base which includes reputable customers such as Amanpulo Resorts, Amkor Technologies Inc., Araneta Center Inc., and Pepsi Cola Philippines Inc., to name a few. Just recently, Monark completed the installation of Caterpillar and Olympian standby gensets for Banco de Oro’s 66 branches nationwide. “With every genset we sell comes our commitment to service and support it – to make sure it performs at the time when it is most needed. We strive to set the industry standard in product support and service, and continue to build our reputation based on customer satisfaction,” Ramos said.

NGCP authorized as metering service provider

By Donnabelle L. Gatdula (The Philippine Star) Updated May 30, 2011 12:00 AM 

MANILA, Philippines -  The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), the operator of the country’s power transmission highway, has been authorized to become a wholesale electricity spot market metering services provider (WMSP).
Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) chairperson Zenaida G. Cruz-Ducut said the certificate of authority awarded to NGCP finalizes the provisional authority previously granted to the company as a metering services provider.
Provision, operation and maintenance of revenue metering facilities are utility functions the National Transmission Corp. (TransCo) assumed from the National Power Corp. (Napocor) as mandated by the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA).
NGCP, the private concessionaire of the transmission network since 2009, then became the de facto metering service provider of Napocor and other energy suppliers for the purpose of billing their energy sales to their customers.
With the operation of the WESM, NGCP has rehabilitated and upgraded the metering points from the Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao grids to distribution utilities and other load customers to make these metering facilities “WESM_ready”.
Meter boxes, back-up meters, and revenue meters for substations are some of the metering structures that have already been replaced and enhanced.
The automated meter data retrieval (AMR) system is also in place to satisfy the requirement of the WESM for the daily delivery of load profile-type of meter data from all metering facilities.
NGCP is now headed by Henry T. Sy Jr. as president and chief executive officer. Sy, the son and namesake of mall, retail, real estate, and banking magnate Henry Sy Sr., also heads several corporations under the Sy Group of Companies, including SM Development Corp. which was recognized by the Asian Wall Street Journal as the ninth most admired corporation in the Philippines for 2010.