Written by Madelaine B. Miraflor Reporter Published on 18 December 2012
Conglomerate Ayala Corp. announced on Monday that it will acquire 17.1 percent interest in GNPower Mariveles Coal Plant Ltd. Co. (GMCP) held by Denham Capital, which has a total purchase cost of P155 million.
In a statement, Ayala Corp. said that it entered into a sale and purchase agreement to acquire 100 percent of the interests held by an affiliate of a fund advised by Denham Capital in GNPower Mariveles Coal Plant Ltd. Co. (GMCP), which is the owner of the 2 x 300-megawatt coal-fired power generating plant in Mariveles, Bataan province.
“Pursuant to agreement and subject to lenders’ consent and other customary closing conditions, Ayala has agreed to acquire ownership interests of approximately 17.1 percent in GMCP and its Mariveles Power Plant for a total purchase price of approximately $155 million,” the company further added.
John Eric Francia, Ayala managing director and AC Energy president said that the Mariveles Power Plant is a major capacity addition that is critical to alleviating potential power shortages in the Luzon grid.
“It is utilizing pulverized coal technology designed to meet global standards and contributes to Ayala’s goal of providing low-cost electricity to the country,” he added.
Ayala President and Chief Operating Officer Fernando Zobel de Ayala, on the other hand, said that they are pleased with the addition of the Mariveles Power Plant to Ayala’s growing portfolio of energy projects.
“We are delighted to be working with Sithe Global Power and Power Partners in this endeavor. Our investment reflects the Ayala group’s support for the energy and infrastructure needs of our country and our confidence in its bright growth prospects,” he added.
The Mariveles Power Plant is currently undergoing commissioning. The other sponsors of the Mariveles Power Plant are power project developer Power Partners, Ltd. Co. and Sithe Global Power LLC, a company owned by investors of The Blackstone Group. Ayala intends to hold its investment in GMCP through its wholly owned energy subsidiary, AC Energy Holdings Inc.
J. P. Morgan served as financial advisor to Ayala on this transaction.
In the previous week, Ayala Corp., together with Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc. announced that it will be partnering with a global airport operator in bidding for the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Passenger Terminal under the Philippine government’s public private partnership program.
ADC&HAS, which the two conglomerates partnered with, is a global airport operator with a proven track record of successful investment, development and operation of airports around the world.
It currently operates airports serving the capital cities of Quito, Ecuador and San Jose, Costa Rica with an annual capacity of over 5 million passengers and over 3.6 million passengers, respectively. It also operates airports in the growing tourist destinations of Liberia, Costa Rica and the Chungcheong Northern Province in South Korea. source
By Zinnia B. Dela Peña(The Philippine Star) | Updated December 18, 2012 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - Conglomerate Ayala Corp. continues on a buying binge with the acquisition of a 17.1 percent stake in a firm that owns a 600-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Mariveles, Bataan for $155 million.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange yesterday, Ayala said it has bought into GNPower Mariveles Coal Plant Ltd. Co. (GMCP), whose Mariveles plant is undergoing commissioning. The investment will be made by wholly-owned energy unit AC Energy Holdings Inc.
Ayala acquired the stake from an affiliate of a fund advised by Denham Capital.
John Eric T. Francia, Ayala managing director and AC Energy president, said the plant is a “major capacity addition that is critical to alleviating potential power shortages in the Luzon grid and providing low-cost electricity to the country.”
For his part, Ayala president and COO Fernando Zobel de Ayala said: “We are pleased with the addition of the Mariveles power plant to Ayala’s growing portfolio of energy projects. We are delighted to be working with Sithe Global Power and Power Partners in this endeavor. Our investment reflects the Ayala Group’s support for the energy and infrastructure needs of our country and our confidence in its bright growth prospects.”
Sithe Global, a company owned by investors of the BlackStone Group, and project developer power partners, are the other sponsors of the Mariveles power plant.
JP Morgan was Ayala’s financial adviser to the transaction.
Ayala is in a phase of active investment in the power and infrastructure sectors, which it deems critical for the country’s growth and development.
The conglomerate aims to build a portfolio of 1,000 MW of power capacity over five years. It earmarked around $100 million on approximately 180 MW of capacity across thermal, wind, hydro and solar technologies.
The group began construction of a 135-MW coal-fired thermal plant in Calaca, Batangas in partnership with the Phinma Group’s Trans-Asia Oil and Development Corp. It is also currently working on a possible second phase of expansion of the plant.
AC Energy, in partnership with A.Brown Co. Inc. and Rebisco, are jointly building a 135-MW power generation plant in the province of Iloilo, estimated to cost around P12.5 billion. source
By Alena Mae S. Flores Posted on Dec. 18, 2012 at 12:01am
The Energy Department said Monday it expects to approve 11 coal operating contracts this week, but needs more time to study the oil and gas deals.
“We’re done with coal but there about 11 applicants to be awarded. I hope to sign this week if I can [for coal]. However for petroleum, that’s another issue. We need further time on this,” Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla said.
Petilla declined to disclose the names of the coal operating contracts until they were endorsed for the president’s signature. He said while there were some deficiencies in the coal contracts, they were “correctible”.
Petilla said for petroleum contracts, the department would come up with the final evaluation for submission to Malacañang by January. The agency waits for all the data to conduct the final review of the petroleum contacts.
“We’re looking at technicalities…like the financial side and environmental, because the actual review actually focuses on this. We have 11 applicants for petroleum. It shouldn’t take us long to review that,” Petilla said.
Petilla said areas that were not awarded would be rebid. The government offered 30 areas for coal and 15 areas for oil and gas exploration and development under the Philippine Energy Contracting Round 4.
Four petroleum areas did not receive bids of 15 areas offered to investors. Area 1 in Cagayan received three bids from Black Swan Resources, Frontier Oil Co. and Planet Gas Ltd. but the three companies failed to fully comply with the requirements of the department.
Area 2 in Central Luzon received a bid from Clean Rock Renewable Energy Resources but it was also rejected for non-compliance with requirements.
Area 7 in Mindoro Cuyo received a bid from NorAsian Energy Philippines Inc., the local unit of Australian firm Otto Energy Ltd. but its bid was also rejected.
Area 10 in East Palawan drew interest from Forum Pacific Inc. whose bid was accepted.
Area 11 in Cotabato received two bids from Forum Pacific and Helios Mining and Energy, which were both accepted. source
Power consumers in Mindanao may have to brace for longer outages next year as the expected supply crunch may peak to as much as 300 megawatts during the summer, much higher than the previous projection of a 200-MW shortfall.
In a yearend briefing on Monday, Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho L. Petilla explained that the power supply shortage, ranging anywhere from 100 MW to 300 MW, will largely depend on the output of the hydropower complexes, which supply roughly 50 percent of Mindanao’s electricity requirements.
If the impending drought will dry up the rivers from which these power facilities are connected, a 300-MW shortage will be possible, thus stretching the length of the rotating brownouts, he added.
The energy chief noted that in November, certain areas in Mindanao were already experiencing outages lasting as long as six hours a day.
As of Monday, the power supply deficit stood at only 87 MW, based on data from the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines.
Petilla was quick to clarify that not all areas in Mindanao will be adversely affected by potentially severe power outages next year, citing the case of Davao where the distribution utility there has embedded capacities it can tap to help plug the shortfall.
For now, the Department of Energy, according to Petilla, is banking primarily on the private sector to help ease this shortfall, as the agency’s earlier plan to privatize and transfer three 32-MW diesel fired power barges from Visayas to Mindanao did not materialize.
More specifically, the DOE is planning to tap the large commercial firms in Mindanao like the SM Malls and Dole Philippines to run their respective fuel-fired generator sets at certain periods, instead of sourcing their needed capacities from the Mindanao grid.
This way, the capacities they will give up can be used to power other areas in Mindanao. At the same time, these companies that will voluntarily give up their loads will be compensated under the Interim Mindanao Electricity Market (IMEM).
“We’ll find a way to compensate [these firms] on a short-term basis,” Petilla said. source
Conglomerate Ayala Corp. has boosted its power-generation portfolio with the acquisition of a 17.1-percent stake in GNPower Mariveles Coal Plant Ltd. Co. (GMPC) and its 600-megawatt coal-fired plant in Mariveles, Bataan, for $155 million.
This deal is in line with the Ayala group’s plan to embark on $2.5 billion worth of power projects and build a portfolio of about 1,000 megawatts in generation capacity over the next five years, through partnerships with more experienced power players.
Ayala announced on Monday the signing of the agreement to acquire the stake held by an affiliate of a fund advised by Denham Capital in GMPC, which owns the 600-MW coal-fired power generating plant.
The conglomerate will thus share ownership of the Mariveles Power Plant with power project developer Power Partners Ltd. Co. and Sithe Global Power LLC, which is owned by investors of The Blackstone Group.
Ayala intends to hold its investment in GMCP through its wholly owned energy subsidiary, AC Energy Holdings Inc., it said in the disclosure.
“The Mariveles Power Plant is a major capacity addition that is critical to alleviating potential power shortages in the Luzon grid. It is utilizing pulverized coal technology designed to meet global standards and contributes to Ayala’s goal of providing low-cost electricity to the country,” said John Eric Francia, Ayala managing director and AC Energy president.
Francia added that Ayala was still open to participating in the bidding for the right to manage the contracted capacities of the 640-megawatt Unified Leyte geothermal facilities and the 150-MW Casecnan hydropower plant. The government is expected to bid out Unified Leyte by the first quarter of next year.
Ayala president and COO Fernando Zobel de Ayala said: “We are pleased with the addition of the Mariveles Power Plant to Ayala’s growing portfolio of energy projects. We are delighted to be working with Sithe Global Power and Power Partners in this endeavor. Our investment reflects the Ayala group’s support for the energy and infrastructure needs of our country and our confidence in its bright growth prospects.”
J. P. Morgan served as financial adviser to Ayala on this transaction. source
Conglomerate Ayala Corp. has sealed its latest power deal, disclosing on Monday that it is buying a 17.1-percent stake in GNP Power Mariveles Coal Plant Ltd. Co., which owns a 600-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Bataan, north of Manila.
Ayala said in a Philippine Stock Exchange filing that it will pay $155 million to acquire the interest in the power plant held by an affiliate of a fund advised by Denham Capital. The power plant is “currently undergoing commissioning,” the statement showed.
Ayala will keep the investment under wholly owned subsidiary AC Energy Holdings Inc., through which the conglomerate owns a growing range of power assets for both traditional and renewable energy sources.
“The Mariveles Power Plant is a major capacity addition that is critical to alleviating potential power shortages in the Luzon grid. It is utilizing pulverized-coal technology designed to meet global standards and contributes to Ayala’s goal of providing low-cost electricity to the country,” John Eric Francia, Ayala managing director, said in the statement.
Ayala has been ramping up its power investments in a bid to widen its presence and compete with larger power players like the Lopez-led First Philippine Holdings, Aboitiz Power Corp. and San Miguel Corp.
Ayala announced last year that it was assembling a 1,000-MW power generation portfolio in five years and it has since been pursuing acquisitions or partnerships to expand the business.
With its entry into GNP Power, it joins other “sponsors” of the power plant, namely, Power Partners Ltd. Co. and Sithe Global Power Llc., a company owned by investors of The Blackstone Group, the statement showed.
“We are delighted to be working with Sithe Global Power and Power Partners in this endeavor. Our investment reflects the Ayala group’s support for the energy and infrastructure needs of our country and our confidence in its bright growth prospects,” Fernando Zobel de Ayala, Ayala president and CEO, said in the same statement.
Ayala also has joint-venture deals for a 135-MW coal power plant with Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corp. in Batangas province and another 135-MW coal power plant in Iloilo province, this time with A. Brown Co and Jin Navitas Resource Inc., a firm led by the Ng family behind Rebisco Biscuit.
Ayala has also taken various partners for investments in wind, solar and mini-hydropower projects across the Philippines.
Ayala shares rose 0.41 percent to P495 per share, giving it a market value of P233.8 billion on Monday’s close. With Paul Isla source
By Neil Jerome C. Morales(The Philippine Star) | Updated December 17, 2012 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), the country’s biggest power distributor, expects a seven percent growth in electricity sales volume this year, reflecting robust economic activity in the country.
“I think for full-year 2012, we are probably trending around seven percent, year-on-year growth,” Meralco president and CEO Oscar S. Reyes told reporters.
Reyes attributed the expected increase to a strong demand from industrial, commercial and residential users.
“We noted a strong demand from industrial consumers. I think the semiconductors, construction-related industries like steel and plastic products recorded a strong demand. The food and beverage sector also recorded strong usage,” Reyes said.
Reyes said the construction of new malls and business process outsourcing office (BPO) space carried the commercial segment, which grew double digits.
“We have seen a decent growth in the residential sector maybe because of the impact of healthy flows of overseas Filipino remittances,” Reyes said, adding that the property sector is aggressive in residential development.
Consolidated sales of Meralco rose 7.6 percent to 24,448 gigawatt-hours during the first nine months of the year from a year ago.
Consolidated customer accounts grew 3.5 percent to a record 5.16 million as of end-September as the company added 130,042 new customers since the start of the year.
Reyes said the seven percent uptick will increase the three-year growth average to around six percent.
For next year, Meralco is projecting a continued sales growth, albeit at a slower pace.
“It is tough to make a call, but I think we are probably looking at maybe a four to five percent growth next year, that is the average (in the past few years),” Reyes said.
Specifically, Meralco recorded an average sales growth of five percent in 2001 to 2012.
The country is well-supported by both private consumption buoyed by overseas Filipino remittances and BPO earnings while capital investments are continuing given strong liquidity in the banking sector, Reyes said.
Meralco also expects the mid-term election season to perk up spending and electricity consumption.
“I think the concern is if the growth trajectory has really moved up and demand is robust, then I think we better accelerate building of new power generating facilities to ensure the big capacity,” Reyes said. source
By Neil Jerome C. Morales(The Philippine Star) | Updated December 17, 2012 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - The energy sector regulator is set to decide on two key issues early next year that will result in rate hikes and electricity bill refunds, an official said.
The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) is already evaluating the petition for higher rates through the universal charge and is reviewing the Magna Carta for the payment of interest on bill deposits.
“We recognize that Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) is urgently requesting for a resolution to these applications but we are saddled with other cases that are equally important,” said ERC executive director Francis Saturnino C. Juan.
The case will be deliberated upon by the ERC and can be resolved next year.
PSALM wants to charge P0.0313 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) and P0.3666 per kWh to collect funds for stranded debts and stranded contract costs, respectively, in the next four years. The two petitions were filed with the ERC in June 2011.
“Both cases were submitted for decision. These are interrelated so these will both be taken up,” Juan said.
PSALM wants to extend the collection of the universal charge to as much as 25 years to lower the add-on rates to P0.065 from P0.07 per kWh.
“Depending on the rates that will be approved and actual cash inflows to PSALM, there can be annual adjustments thereafter so the actual collections from the universal charge will not be far as targeted to pay maturing obligations of PSALM,” Juan said.
Debts of PSALM, the state-owned firm in charge of privatizing government power assets as well as managing the National Power Corp.’s power plants and debt, is estimated at $18 billion.
Meanwhile, the ERC will also decide on revisions in the Magna Carta for Residential Electricity Consumers, specifically the bill deposits of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco).
“Other issues for review will be Meralco’s implementation of the Magna Carta provision,” Juan said adding that “the way forward is to conduct further studies on these issues and come out with revisions in the Magna Carta.”
Meralco charges its new customers varying amounts as deposit for future bills, specifically to cover potential non-payments of bills.
The amount can be redeemed once a customer terminates the services of the power distributor.
However, the company was not able to pay the interest on the bill deposits for eight years.
“There is no decision yet from the Commission whether or not to accept that explanation for the delay so there is still an administrative case that can be initiated against Meralco for that delay,” Juan said.
Juan said Meralco explained that the delay resulted from operational difficulties as it implements refunds a few years ago.
Roughly 1.5 million customers of Meralco will receive more than P1 billion as interest on their bill deposits this month.
“If distribution utilities benefit out of the proceeds of these bill deposits, they should pay the appropriate cost of money for these amounts it has access to,” Juan said. source
By Alena Mae S. Flores Posted on Dec. 17, 2012 at 12:00am
Ratings agency Philippine Rating Services Corp. maintained the credit rating for the outstanding P12-billion bonds of Energy Development Corp. at PRS Aaa.
EDC issued the bonds in two tranches, with P8.5 billion due in June 2015 and P3.5 billion due in December 2016.
PRS Aaa is the highest credit rating on PhilRatings’ long-term credit rating scale. Obligations rated PRS Aaa are of the highest quality with minimal credit risk. This means the obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation is extremely strong.
The rating agency noted Energy Development’s reinforced sustainable revenue stream and strong cash flow generation; enhanced standing as the leading vertically integrated geothermal power producer in the country; its financial flexibility, as well as improved debt profile. source
By Zinnia B. Dela Peña(The Philippine Star) | Updated December 17, 2012 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - Chinese-Filipino businessman Lucio Co is looking to acquire more renewable energy projects as it hopes to make its presence felt in the power sector.
Co said the group is in the process of acquiring new energy assets including municipal waste to energy projects and expects to conclude negotiations soon.
Co, through Union Energy Corp., owns 66 percent of San Jose City I Power Corp., a renewable energy company that will build a P1-billion biomass plant in Nueva Ecija.
The plant, which can generate 9.9 megawatts of power, will be the first project of its kind and size that will use 100-percent rice husk in the whole country. It will also be the first biomass power project to be launched after the feed in-tariff rates were approved in July.
The project, slated for completion in 20 months, highlights the importance of rural biomass utilization to renewable energy supply sustainability and environmental management in the context of global cooperation.
Co will fold $1.828 billion worth of assets into Alcorn Gold Petroleum Corp., which will serve as his investment holding firm.
Among the businesses to be infused include Puregold Price Club Inc. (67.29 percent), Puregold Properties (100 percent), Premier Wine and Spirits (80 percent), Elllimac Prime Holdings (100 percent), Cosco Prime Holdings (100 percent),
Meritus Prime Distributions (100 percent), Pure Petroleum (100 percent) and Premier Wine and Spirits (80 percent).
The acquisition will be made through a share swap or subscription to the increase in the firm’s capitalization from P3 billion to P10 billion. source
THE growth in power demand from industrial and commercial customers is expected to propel Manila Electric Co.’s (Meralco) sales volumes to jump by 7 percent this year.
Oscar S. Reyes, Meralco president and chief executive, said in an interview that sales volume could be trending around 7-percent increase compared with last year’s a little over 1-percent hike.
Reyes said the projected growth in sales volume is attributable to the healthy pick-up of demand from Meralco’s industrial customers. “The semiconductor business, construction-related such as steel and petrochemical industries, and food and beverage, among others, have picked up this year and could result in Meralco’s overall sales volumes.
On the commercial side, Reyes said demand has been “healthy,” thanks to the construction of new malls and entertainment centers.
Reyes also said they have seen decent growth from the residential sector , which could be the result of the healthy inflow of OFW remittances.
While sales volume growth has already reached 7.6 percent in the first nine months of the year, Reyes said they still see growth to hover around 7 percent for the full year.
He noted that December sales volume is expected to be lower compared with the previous months, as some industries tend to take a few days off and/or shut down. “December is often the lowest [in sales volume] in the last three months because on the impact on the industrial [sector],” he added.
For his outlook next year, Reyes said, granted that all remains same then the robust economic growth could still happen. At the same time, next year’s mid-term elections are expected to help perk up demand, particularly in days closer to the day people cast their votes.
Reyes declined to predict whether they could duplicate this year’s projected growth in sales volume. “It’s tough to make a call, but I think we’re probably looking at maybe a 4-percent to 5-percent growth next year.”
Also if the growth trajectory has really moved up and demand remains robust, Reyes said they could fast track the building of new power-generating facilities to ensure energy supply and security.
Manuel V. Pangilinan, Meralco chairman, earlier revised the power distributor’s core income guidance to grow to P16 billion.
Pangilinan said they are upgrading the core guidance to P16 billion for the entire year, which is attributed to the continuing strong sales in October, which is trending slightly north of 7 percent. For the first nine months, Betty C. Siy-Yap, Meralco chief finance officer, said core income grew by 7.9 percent to P12.892 billion from P11.949 billion in the same period last year.
“Meralco’s reported net income also grew by 37.1 percent to P13.646 billion in the first nine months from P9.951 billion during the same period last year. The growth in income was due to the company’s strong sales volume and growth in customer count during the first nine months,” Siy-Yap said. source
LISTED Energy Development Corp. (EDC) said on Friday the Philippine Rating Services Corp. (PhilRatings) maintained the issue credit rating for its outstanding P12-billion bonds at PRS Aaa.
In a statement, EDC said the bonds were issued in two tranches, with P8.5 billion due in June 2015 and P3.5 billion due in December 2016.
PRS Aaa is the highest credit rating on PhilRatings’s long-term credit rating scale.
Obligations rated PRS Aaa are of the highest quality with minimal credit risk. The obligor’s capacity to meet its financial commitment on the obligation is extremely strong.
PhilRatings said it took note of EDC’s reinforced sustainable revenue stream and strong cash-flow generation, enhanced standing as a vertically integrated geothermal-power producer in the country, its financial flexibility, improved debt profile, thereby mitigating various operational and financial risks, its proactive stance in addressing emerging trends in the power sector, and its improved profitability.
The ratings granted by PhilRatings are based on available information and projections at the time that the rating review is ongoing. The company will also continuously monitor developments relating to EDC and may change the rating at any time, should circumstances warrant a change.
EDC’s acquisition of the Bacon-Manito and Palinpinon-Tongonan geothermal facilities marked the full integration of its geothermal value chain.
By managing both steam production and electricity generation, EDC benefits in terms of synchronized decision-making processes and operational cost savings.
EDC continues to generate a healthy stream of revenues from its current operating facilities despite the delays encountered in the start of commercial operations for the Bacon-Manito facility and the scheduled phased rehabilitation of the Palinpinon-Tongonan facility.
The bulk of the energy production is contracted and tied to medium to long-term take-or-pay contracts which provide sustainable and predictable cash flows for the company.
EDC continues to maintain healthy cash levels given the robust cash generated from its operating activities. This, coupled with adequate credit lines, provide EDC with strong financial flexibility to meet sudden liquidity needs.
EDC said this was further enhanced by the loan refinancing activities of the company which effectively reduced financing costs and lengthened the average life of its loans. Debt profile has also been limited to only peso- and dollar-denominated loans, with the exposure to foreign exchange risk managed given the natural hedge provided by the company’s long-term contracts.
Adding to the company’s operational efficiency is its well-positioned strategy in addressing emerging trends in the power sector.
Geothermal projects in the pipeline are expected to deliver a substantial amount of capacity in the coming years, timely enough to meet the energy needs in the different island grids. Given the recent approval of the Feed-in-Tariff rates, pending wind projects are expected to push through and become operational in the medium term.
For the first nine months of 2012, EDC posted a consolidated net income of P8.6 billion, a significant turnaround from the P488-million net loss registered during the same period last year.
EDC attributed the recovery to a combined result of the company’s improved revenues and controlled expenses, although the main driver for the improvement was the absence of a P5-billion one-time impairment loss booked for the Northern Negros plant in 2011.
EDC added that the positive trend in profitability is expected to continue going forward, particularly when the Bacon-Manito plant commences full operations and the Palinpinon-Tongonan plant completes its rehabilitation. source