Friday, May 31, 2013

Lopez Group’s P12-B RE projects get BOI tax incentives

 (The Philippine Star) 

MANILA, Philippines - A unit of the Lopez Group has secured tax perks for its three renewable energy (RE) projects worth P11.96 billion.
“The BOI (Board of Investments) approved this month First Gen Mindanao Hydro Power Corp. (FGMHPC) as RE developer of hydropower energy resources for its three projects in Mindanao worth P11.96 billion with a total energy capacity 62.75 megawatts (MW),” the agency said in a statement yesterday.
With the approval of the registration of the three projects, FGMHPC can enjoy incentives such as income tax holidays and duty-free importation of equipment for seven years as provided by the Renewable Energy Act of 2008.
RE is listed as a mandatory activity in the 2012 Investment Priorities Plan.
The government provides incentives to encourage firms to invest in priority activities or sectors.
The first of the three projects is the 23 MW Bubunawan hydropower project worth P5.07 billion, which will be located in  Bukidnon.
Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
The project, which will have two units of turbine-generator sets, is estimated to produce an annual average of about 138 gigawatt hours (GWH) of electrical energy with a maximum annual generation capability of about 201 GWH of clean and renewable energy.
The project is expected to provide jobs to up to 45 personnel.
The second project worth P1.803 billion will be situated within the Cabadbaran town of Agusan del Norte.
The project, which will involve the construction and installation of up to three units of 3.25 MW turbine-generator sets, is estimated to produce an annual average of about 50 GWH up to a maximum yearly generation capability of about 85 GWH of clean and renewable energy.
Some 27 jobs are expected to be created by the project.
Aside from the two projects, FGMHPC project is also putting up  a 30 MW Puyo hydropower project in Jabonga, Agusan del Norte, worth P5.06 billion.
The project involves the construction and installation of two units of 15 MW turbine-generator sets.
The Puyo facility is seen to churn out an annual average of about 191 GWH.
It is also expected to create 27 jobs.
All three projects are scheduled to start operations in January 2017.   source

Meralco eyeing equity increase in Nigerian venture

Manila Bulletin 
By Myrna M. Velasco 
Published: May 31, 2013 
Philippine power utility giant Manila Electric Company (Meralco) is seriously weighing offer for it to hike its equity participation in the consortium which cornered an investment deal in Nigeria’s power distribution sector.
During a media briefing on the sidelines of the company’s annual stockholders meeting Tuesday, Meralco president Oscar S. Reyes noted that “we were given an option to increase our stake from initially 5.0-percent.”
At that level of transaction, he stressed that the utility firm’s investment will just be a marginal US$200,000.
Meralco is the technical partner of Lagos-based Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Ltd. (IEDM) which submitted a tender in the privatization process being undertaken for the power distribution assets in Nigeria.
“We are waiting for the final terms of the award and what’s the potential profitability of that,” the Meralco executive has emphasized.
Since the Nigerian electricity industry is undergoing a restructuring process similar to what the Philippines had gone through, Reyes noted that this will give them the upper hand when it comes to addressing the needs of that particular market.
“Nigeria is on privatization process, they privatized generation – they’re privatizing the entire electricity sector,” Reyes stressed.
The challenges for the Nigerian power sector, he added, will be the enormous segment of end-users that are still unserved – both in terms of connections and capacity.
Comparatively, the Nigerian electricity sector is a very small market with just a customer base of less than 200,000 – too marginal vis-a-vis Meralco’s more than 5.0 million customers.
Reyes emphasized that one of the major challenges in that power market would also be its high system loss record – but this is a sphere where Meralco can extend technical expertise and share some lessons learned to address it.   source

Thursday, May 30, 2013

PNOC-EC to delist from PSE

Philippine Daily Inquirer
PNOC Exploration Corp., the upstream oil and coal arm of state-run Philippine National Oil Co., is looking to voluntarily delist from the Philippine Stock Exchange following its failure to conduct a follow-on offering.
The follow-on offering would have allowed PNOC-EC to comply with the 10-percent public float requirement in time for the June 2013 deadline set by the PSE.
“[PNOC-EC is] working on voluntary delisting. The Department of Finance, the Department of Energy and PNOC are on the same level of thinking when we say that PNOC-EC is really a government-owned corporation. At this point, the only time you want to actually list beyond the 10 percent [mandate] is if you need more funds and at this time, they are performing very well,” Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho L. Petilla said.
“PNOC-EC is among the government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) remitting huge dividends to the government. So it’s been agreed already that [PNOC-EC] will be delisted,” Petilla further explained.
In April, Petilla said that PNOC-EC was still moving to conduct the follow-on offering to comply with the listing requirement. Based on the previous plan, PNOC-EC was to proceed with the offering even after the June 2013 deadline set by the PSE and then ask to be listed again, Petilla said earlier.
PNOC-EC has to offer to the public 217.8 million primary shares. Amy R. Remo   source

Guimaras tapped for P6.3-B wind power farm

May 30, 2013 7:32pm
ILOILO CITY: The Department of Energy (DOE) gave the go-ahead to Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corp. for its P6.3-billion wind farm power project to be set up in barangays Cabano, Suclaran and M. Chavez in San Lorenzo town of Guimaras island province.
The power generation arm of Phinma Group of Companies, Trans Asia’s wind power plant project faces the Guimaras-Negros Strait and will generate 54 megawatts. Construction is expected to start by July this year, according to the DOE Visayas Field Office.
Project implementation will be done by phases and expected to be operational by the end of 2015. At its initial stage, Trans Asia will be putting up six wind turbine generators or towers in San Lorenzo that would generate at least two megawatts (MW) each.
Six megawatts of the power capacity will be utilized by the province of Guimaras and the remaining supply will be sold to neighboring Iloilo. Besides the provision of stable power supply, the proposed wind farm is expected to bring in additional P60 million annually to the province and is also eyed as a tourist attraction on the island.
DOE said the project will benefit Guimaras, Panay and other areas in the Visayas. The excess electricity produced will be exported to the nearby island of Panay through a submarine cable.
The existing submarine cable that connects Guimaras to Panay has only a capacity of 5 MW but Trans Asia is willing to put up additional submarine cables so that electricity can be transmitted to other provinces.
Besides the Guimaras project, Trans-Asia also has 11 other similar service contracts with an estimated capacity of 400 megawatts once developed. The wind projects will be the first to benefit from an incentive scheme that aims to ensure half the country’s energy comes from renewable sources by 2030.
The company is also developing a 135-megawatt coal plant in Batangas and a 20-megawatt geothermal project in Batangas and Laguna.
At present, Trans-Asia owns diesel plants on Guimaras Island that powers the Guimaras Electric Cooperative (Guilmelco), La Union and Bulacan. The company also administers and manages the 116-megawatt diesel plant of One Subic Power Generation Corp. in the former US naval base.
The largest of the three wind farm projects will be set up in Burgos town by Energy Development Corp., an 87-MW project to cost $300 million. Two other wind projects are the 67.5MW set up by Alterenergy Wind One Corp. and the Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corp. in Guimaras.
The Philippines has an existing 33-megawatt wind power plant in Banggui, Ilocos Norte, set up in 2005 even before the renewable energy law was passed.    source

Power co-ops post record low system loss in 2012

 (The Philippine Star) 

MANILA, Philippines - Power cooperatives under the supervision of the National Electrification Administration (NEA) posted a record low average of 11.74 percent in system losses in 2012.
This is a reduction of 0.13 percentage point from 11.87 percent in 2011 and 1.26 percentage points lower than the 13-percent cap set by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), NEA reported yesterday.
The reduction in system losses has an equivalent savings of 170.42 million kilowatt-hours (kwh) or about P1.148 billion for the cooperatives’ member consumers, NEA also said.
Among the cooperatives, 23 posted  single-digit system losses while 77 were within the cap set by the ERC.
On the other hand, 53 cooperatives showed marked improvement in their system loss level in 2012 compared to 2011.
According to NEA, five ECs had the lowest system losses. These are the Dinagat Island Electric Cooperative Inc. with 5.07 percent; Misamis Oriental I Electric Service Inc. (Moresco I) with 5.24 percent; Siargao Electric Cooperative  Inc. (Siarelco) with 6.05 percent; Cebu III Electric Cooperative Inc. (Cebeco III) with 6.46 percent; and Agusan del Sur Electric Cooperative Inc. (Aselco) with 6.77 percent.
Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
The Region VII (Central Visayas) ECs recorded the lowest average system loss at 8.39 percent, NEA said.
NEA attributed the reduction in system loss to meter changes, including pole metering and cluster metering made by the cooperatives to their member consumers.
The government agency has been stepping up efforts to improve system losses. Last year, NEA tapped the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to address the system loss concerns of the electric cooperatives nationwide.
JICA tapped the expertise of the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (Tepco) to help the cooperatives reduce distribution system losses.   source

Govt, EU hold energy meeting

Manila Standard Today
By MST Business Posted on May 30, 2013 at 12:01am
The Energy Department, in partnership with the European Union, held a second EU- Philippines Meeting on Energy Wednesday and discussed initiatives on energy efficiency.
The event, with the theme “Energy Efficiency to Boost Economic Growth,” was held at the New World Hotel in Makati City.
EU Ambassador to the Philippines Guy Ledoux, House energy committee chairman Henedina Abad and Energy Undersecretary Loreta Ayson opened the event.
Ambassadors from the EU member states to the Philippines, officials from different government agencies as well as leaders and heads from the academe, industry, private sector, and civil society participated in the high-level meeting.
The event was part of the EU’s Switch policy support component that promotes energy efficiency and conservation programs as well as clean energy and green growth policies in the Philippines through a P180-million grant to the government.
The first EU-Philippines meeting on energy held last year focused on the issue of Renewable Energy in the country and set the scene for future cooperation on energy between the Philippines and the EU.   source

Solar power plant to rise in Ormoc City

 (The Philippine Star) 

This, after city and provincial officials approved the plan of Korean investors to build a $72-million (roughly P2.9-billion) solar power plant in the upland village of Dolores – touted to be the biggest of its kind in Southeast Asia.
Recently, Young Soon, chief operations officer of Philippine Solar Farm-Leyte Inc., said his company was securing a permit from the Department of Energy to put up a 30-megawatt solar power plant on a 44-hectare area in Barangay Dolores.
Young said they would get financing from the Korea Development Bank Daewoo Security Co.
“If everything goes as planned, construction of the plant will begin in July or August, so it can become operational by the first quarter next year,” Young said.
The Korean investors picked Ormoc City as site of the solar plant because of the convenience of connecting to the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines as well as the area’s rolling terrain which is suitable for the plant’s structures which could serve as tourist attraction.  source

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Brownout to hit Kalinga, Apayao, Cagayan

Manila Bulletin 
By Freddie G .Lazaro 
Published: May 29, 2013 
Vigan City – The entire Kalinga province and parts of Apayao and Cagayan will have no power for as long as 10 hours tomorrow, May 30, the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) announced yesterday.
NGCP North Luzon Public Affairs Officer Lilibeth P. Gaydowen said the first scheduled brownout will start from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. affecting the distribution utilities of Cagayan Electric Cooperative I (CAGELCO I) and Kalinga Electric Cooperative (KAELCO).
“The brownout will affect the entire province of Kalinga and the towns of Enrile, Faire, Piat, Rizal, Tuao, Solana, and Tuguegarao City, all in Cagayan province,” she said.
Gaydowen said the cause of the brownout had something to do with the annual preventive maintenance and testing of Gamu-Tuguegarao 230kV transmission line power equipment.
The other scheduled brownout will start from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and affects the distribution utilities of of Cagayan Electric Cooperative I and II (CAGELCO I and II).
Gaydowen said that the areas affected here are the towns of Alcala, Amulung, Iguig, Baggao, Lallo, Gattaran, Aparri, Lasam, Allacapan, Camalaniugan, Buguey, Sta. Teresita, Gonzaga, Sta. Ana, Abulug, Pamplona, Ballesteros, Sanchez Mira, Claveria, and Sta. Praxedes, all in Cagayan province; and Pudtol, Luna, Flora, Sta. Marcela, and Calanasan, all in Apayao province.
“The reason of the brownout is the annual preventive maintenance and testing of Tuguegarao-Magapit 69kV line and energization of the 15 MVA capacitor in Magapit substation,” she noted.
“The restoration of power will immediately resume upon work’s completion,” she added.   source

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tampinco bows out of NPC; Asirit eyeing ERC commissioner post

Manila Bulletin 
By Myrna M. Velasco 
Published: May 28, 2013 
The power sector restructuring saga continues with National Power Corporation (NPC) President Froilan A. Tampinco reportedly bowing out of his post end of next month.
According to highly-placed sources, he will likely be replaced by Gladys Cruz-Sta. Rita, currently one of the board members of state-run Philippine National Oil Company.
Sta. Rita was installed PNOC board member during the Aquino administration and took her oath then before former Energy Secretary and now Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras. She earned her AB and Masters in economics degree from the University of the Philippines.
Another official who will likely move is Department of Energy (DOE) Undesecretary Josefina Patricia Magpale- Asirit, who is reportedly jumping fence to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for a Commissioner post.
Magpale-Asirit , according to sources, will likely take the place vacated by retired Commissioner Maria Teresa R. Castaneda who retired months back.
The energy official has been on a “prolonged leave” since January as she asked permission from Energy Secretary Carlos Jericho Petilla that she had to help her mother on her vice gubernatorial bid in Cebu in the recently-concluded mid term elections.
Another Commissioner post will open at the ERC this year with the forthcoming retirement of Commissioner Jose Reyes this July.
Tampinco is reportedly eyeing a new job at a multilateral lending agency upon his departure from the state-run power firm.
He will be leaving an organization which is deeply-scarred with frustrating concerns that have not been resolved under his watch.
NPC employees, in particular, are restless and disappointed at the organizational restructuring recently implemented at the company; as well as on their hanging compensation on a labor case already won at the Supreme Court.
After its privatization, the residual function of NPC had been confined generally to the electrification of off-grid areas.
In the Operation and Maintenance Agreement (OMA) it inked with the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM), NPC also serves as the operator of the power plants which are still under government’s charge.   source

Lopez Group allots $3.14 B for power generation

 (The Philippine Star) 

MANILA, Philippines - Lopez-led First Philippine Holdings Corp. (FPHC) is expanding its power generation portfolio with $3.14 billion in investments, a top company executive said.
FPHC’s operating units First Gen Corp. and Energy Development Corp. are pursuing new energy projects that will increase the Lopez Group’s generating capacity by half to more than 4,000 megawatts (MW) in the medium term.
“The expansion in power generation within FPHC’s portfolio will continue. There is a need for more investments in power generation because of increased capacity requirements,” FPHC chief finance officer Francis Giles Puno told reporters.
Specifically, FPHC’s subsidiary First Gas will spend $1.6 billion to increase the output of the San Gabriel liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants by another 1,300 MW from 2013 to 2018. Another $1 billion will be required for a LNG receiving and regasification facility.
First Gas owns and operates the 1,000-MW Sta. Rita combined-cycle natural gas-fired power plant and the 500-MW San Lorenzo natural gas power plant, both in Batangas.
Puno said the regasification terminal is required given inadequate natural gas supply from Malampaya deep water gas-to-power project in Northwest Palawan that will be exhausted by 2022.
Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
“We hope to bring in LNG to supply the existing 1,500 MW and double that to close to 3,000 MW to justify LNG regasification terminal investment,” Puno said.
Renewable energy projects are also in the pipeline.
First Gen Corp. will continue to develop three run-of-river projects in Mindanao with a combined capacity of 63 MW.
“Through EDC, First Gen is pursuing an 87-MW wind power project in Burgos, Ilocos Norte that will add to its diversified portfolio of clean power generating assets,” FPHC said.
Puno said the wind farm will cost $300 million while the hydropower projects will require $240 million in investments in the next three years.
As of end-2012, FPHC, one of the top power producers in the country, had a total installed capacity of 2,763 MW, of which natural gas accounts for 54 percent, followed by geothermal at 41 percent and hydropower at five percent.
Meanwhile, the real estate units of the Lopez family’s holding firm are enjoying better performance this year.
FPHC chairman and CEO Federico Lopez said First Philippine Industrial Park (FPIP) is benefiting from secured energy supply, quality labor force and good governance.
FPIP has expanded its industrial park in Southern Luzon to 450 hectares from the original 300 hectares.
FPHC president Elpidio Ibañez said “the Clark and Subic area is something that we could expand into.”
For its part, Rockwell Land Corp. is venturing into the middle income market through the 53 Benitez mid-rise development in Quezon City.    source

Basic Energy seals exploration investment in indonesia

Manila Bulletin 
By Myrna M. Velasco 
Published: May 28, 2013 
Filipino firm Basic Energy Corporation has firmed up its overseas investment plunge in Indonesia for oil exploration-related ventures with the approval given by the host country’s Badan Koordinasi Penanaman Modal (BKPM), the company has noted in its disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange.
Through its initial tie-up with Malaysian firm Petrosolve Sdn Bhd, the parties were able to register in Hong Kong during the first quarter their foreign investment company Grandway Group Limited of which 70-percent interest is held by Basic Energy and the balance of 30-percent by Petrosolve.
For the targeted Indonesian ventures, the corporate vehicle set up by Grandway Group Ltd. is PT. Basic Energi Solusi, according to the Filipino listed firm.
The next step, Basic Energy said, will be for it to fund the required capitalization of 8.0 billion rupiah, which was recently approved based on their corporate registration under Indonesian laws.
It added that their business will primarily “involve the provision of oil well management services in connection with the operation, management and supervision of oil wells in Indonesia.”
Basic Energy expounded that the Indonesian business arm “will be supported by the technical and operations experience of Basic Energy in the operation and management of oil wells.”
Petrosolve, on one hand, will supplement that technical capacity with the chemical technology patent it owns. Its technology can enhance oil recovery as well as increase oil production.
“Business opportunities for the services to be offered by PT. Basic Energi Solusi exist in Indonesia,” the Filpino firm has emphasized.
It added that the newly-established Indonesian subsidiary “will pave the way for the identification of the various oil projects it will undertake” in that jurisdiction.
Long before its foray in Indonesia, Basic Energy first established its technical competence in upstream oil ventures in the Philippines through interests it held in various service contracts for oil exploration activities.   source

Lopez Group investing $3b

Manila Standard Today
By Alena Mae S. Flores Posted on May 28, 2013 at 12:02am
First Philippine Holdings Corp., the holding company of the Lopez Group, is spending more than $3 billion in energy projects over the next five to six years, a company executive said Monday.
“The expansion in power [generation] within the FPH portfolio will continue. There’s probably a need for more investments in power generation because of capacity requirements,” First Philippine Holdings chief finance officer Francis Giles Puno told reporters after the stockholders’ meeting.
Puno said First Holdings would expand its power generation business by increasing natural gas capacity by another 500 megawatts, including 100 MW in 2014 and 400 MW by 2016.
“Beyond 2016, we’re looking at another 800 MW by 2018. This will be LNG because of the inadequate supply of gas from Malampaya [gas field],” he said.
“We’re hoping to bring LNG to be able to supply the existing 1,500-MW plants but hopefully double that [or] close to 3,000 MW.  That way, we can justify also the investment in an LNG regas terminal,” Puno said.
He said the power plant expansion, including the LNG regasification facility, would require about $2.6 billion in investments, while the 87-MW Burgos wind project would need about $300 million.
The planned 60 MW run-of-river hydro projects in Mindanao, meanwhile, will require investments of about $240 million.
Meanwhile, First Philippine Holdings chairman Federico Puno said another venue for the company’s growth would be the fast-growing real estate sector, which contributed P1.7 billion  in earnings in 2012.
“We are eager to sweat our platform of assets more, maximize potential, and have all our subsidiaries firing on all cylinders in the coming years. This is precisely why FPH is adopting a more active parenting style over its subsidiaries, empowering them to become the growth engines of our company in the decades to come,” Lopez said.
First Philippine Holdings is bullish on Rockwell Land’s and First Philippine Industrial Park’s  performance this year.
Rockwell recently made its first foray into the broader market segment with the 53 Benitez mid-rise development in Quezon City and launched its first project outside Manila with the acquisition of a 3.1-hectare property in Cebu City.
First Philippine Holdings president Elpidio Ibañez said First Philippine Industrial Park was looking at expanding to Clark or Subic, although there were no definite plans yet.
“The industrial park will have its own expansion plans. We continue to grow that. We’re looking at other sites… Clark, Subic is certainly a place that we can expand,” Ibañez said.
The industrial park has successfully attracted large manufacturing companies such as Canon, Brother, Hoya, Cooper and Jedic.   source

NGCP to build P3.1- B Antipolo substation

 (The Philippine Star) 

In its application with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), NGCP said they intend to finish building the substation by 2016.
The substation, which will be located in Brgy. San Juan in Antipolo City, is part of NGCP’s 2012 Transmission Development Plan (TDP) – a comprehensive strategy to expand and improve the Philippine grid in the next 10 years.
The substation, which will have an initial installed capacity of two 750-megavolt ampere (MVA) transformers, will be expandable up to four 750 MVA transformers.
NGCP said the new Antipolo substation is necessary to prevent potential system congestion in the San Jose substation in Bulacan which carries the bulk of Metro Manila’s load.
The San Jose substation is the merging point of generation supply coming from the Masinloc and Sual coal-fired power plants from the north, and Quezon power plant and Pagbilao coal-fired power plant from the south.
Business ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
“With the establishment of Antipolo substation, we can divert some of the load from San Jose substation thereby lowering its criticality level and vulnerability. It will give us operational flexibility that will allow us to maintain or shutdown San Jose substation without affecting power delivery to and from Metro Manila,” said NGCP spokesperson Cynthia Alabanza.
Under the plan, NGCP would build a transmission line and substation for the Antipolo project.
The transmission line component involves the construction of two 500-kilovolt transmission line extensions with a combined span of 17.5 kilometers connecting the Antipolo substation with the San Jose and Tabayas transmission lines.
The substation component of the project, meanwhile, involves the construction of the 230-kV switching facility beside the 115-kV substation in Antipolo of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco).   source

Monday, May 27, 2013

K-Water’s changing Angat position worries gov’t

Manila Bulletin 
By Myrna M. Velasco 
Published: May 27, 2013 
The government agencies involved in the transaction closing for the privatized Angat hydropower plant are raising worries that the “change in the negotiating stance” of winning bidder Korea Water Resources Corporation (K-Water) may render the deal a “death blow.”
Highly placed sources from the Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM) disclosed that in the discussions firming up the water protocol for the facility, K-Water had sent its in-house lawyer Kenneth Lee and director Ki-Sung Hwang to be its negotiators, but Lee reportedly “opposed all previous agreements that government had previously firmed up with them (K-Water).”
In another meeting with the Department of Finance (DOF) last week which should have cemented arrangements on the settlement of the Angat plant’s P330-million real property tax arrears, “talks have not also progressed because of Lee’s offensive display of superiority,” the source added.
In the past three years, K-Water had always designated Jiheun Yun as its representative for its Philippine business and primarily in negotiations for the Angat plant’s transactions. So far, according to PSALM officials, “talks were going well those times, until we were surprised with K-Water’s new representatives.”
A source privy to the ongoing series of discussions averred “we have to know what has been happening here. Just when we’re about to close, K-Water suddenly sent somebody who does not have comprehensive background of the transaction and lacks the technical competence to ascertain the merits of previous discussions we’ve had on the Angat privatization.”
To fast-track PSALM’s issuance of the certificate of effectivity, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, who also sits as chairman of the PSALM board reportedly instructed the team of PSALM president Emmanuel R. Ledesma Jr. to address the “impeding factors” raised by K-Water leading to the closing of the transaction.
With the COE issuance, the government or asset-seller PSALM can finally call on the payment of the $440.88-million winning offer of K-Water for the 218-MW component of the Angat hydropower plant.   source

Petron eyes selling surplus electricity

Manila Bulletin 
By Myrna M. Velasco 
Published: May 27, 2013 
Leading oil firm Petron Corporation is targeting to beef up its revenue stream from electricity sales that may come from the excess capacity of its power plant that can be re-channeled to the grid.
“Excess power generated from this facility (power plant) can be sent to the grid, thus, adding a new revenue stream for the company, “ Petron senior vice president and chief finance officer Emmanuel E. Erana has noted.
He did not qualify though what would be the company’s strategy in selling their surplus capacity – if they are eyeing bilateral contracts or trade via the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market.
The Petron power plant will have capacity of 140MW – and it was primarily constructed to serve the requirements of its Limay refinery in Bataan.
The refining facility is currently undergoing upgrade, and upon the project’s completion, it will need additional electricity for its operations.
“Once fully operational, the power plant will have a total of four generators capable of producing 140MW of power and 800 metric tons per hour of steam,” Erana said.
At this point though, the company cannot ascertain yet what would be the volume that it can sell to the grid.
Based on the original design of the oil firm’s power project, the higher-end target capacity will be 216MW.
It has been noted that the first phase of the power project will be on stream this year; while the next phase is targeted for commercial commissioning next year.   source

Alsons ups power investments: $1.35B

Manila Bulletin  
By Myrna M. Velasco 
Published: May 27, 2013 
Alsons Consolidated Resources, Inc. of the Alcantara group is scaling up investments in the power industry to $1.35 billion over six years with various projects already at various stages of implementation.
In an interview with reporters at the sidelines of the company’s annual stockholders meeting last Friday, Alsons chairman and president Tomas I. Alcantara noted that their power ventures will comprise of the plant that will provide electricity to the Tampakan mining facility of Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI) and the firmed up coal-fired projects in Sarangani and Zamboanga.
“For the Tampakan project, that’s 419 megawatts and that will involve $900 million. And then right now, our projects that are in the pipeline are already about $450 million… so $450 million until 2016-2017,” he stressed.
The Alsons top executive added, “if the Tampakan is ever realized, we have another $900 million. Right now, the mine itself is under technical development, they are still working on the mining side.”
For the power projects of which capacity will be fed directly to Mindanao grid, Alsons developments covered the 105-MW Sarangani phase 1 coal facility that is expected on-line by 2015; and its second phase of another 105-MW that will come on stream a year later; as well as the 105-MW Zamboanga coal-fired project which is set to reach commercial operation in 2016.
The proposed Tampakan facility will come later around 2019. It will be a dedicated plant that will serve the electricity requirements of the Tampakan mines.
“Today we are working on the technical study for the power plant. We have a framework agreement with SMI that we have exclusive rights to put together the power plant that they will require when they will become fully operational,” Alcantara stressed.
The company is similarly working on a proposed 40-MW Seguil hydropower project in Sarangani, which it targets to bring on stream around 2016-2017. This will be implemented in several phases at 16.7MW initially.
With all of these power facilities in its blueprint, the Alcantara conglomerate is well-positioned to become a major player in Mindanao with one-fourth of the grid’s supply or about 463 megawatts eventually coming from its portfolio.
Meanwhile, Alcantara noted that their power ventures contributed partly to the 11.6-percent rise in the company’s net income in the first quarter which reached P509 million from the previous year’s P456 million.
The main driver in the firm’s robust financial performance though was still its industrial estate Lima Technology Center (LTC) in Malvar, Batangas, its joint venture with Japanese firm Marubeni Corporation.
The listed firm reported a 34 percent “surge in land sales and rental income and a 16 percent increase in power and water utility sales to locators.” This triggered 18.2 percent rise in its earnings to P972 million as of end 2012 from the previous year’s P822 million.   source

Power firm secures supply contract

Manila Bulletin 
By Myrna M. Velasco 
Published: May 27, 2013 
Peakpower Energy Inc., a subsidiary of listed firm A. Brown Co. Inc., has sealed a new electric power purchase agreement (EPPA) with Agusan del Sur Electric Cooperative (ASELCO) for the capacity off-take of its another proposed bunker-fired power facility in Mindanao.
According to Peakpower president Roel Z. Castro, their company will be putting up the 5.0MW power plant within the franchise area of ASELCO.
The supply deal, the A. Brown power firm added, has already been submitted to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) for approval.
The planned facility will be implemented based on a build-operate-maintain-transfer (BOT) scheme on an agreed cooperation period.
This is already the second oil-fired plant that the A. Brown Group will be putting up in the grid, the other one is the 20.9MW to be constructed in South Cotabato.
For ASELCO board president Joel Q. Jumonong, the project is needed by the electric cooperative “to fulfill our mandate and to address the adverse effects of the electricity crisis in our area.”
He added the electric cooperative “is in immediate need of generating capacity for its peaking requirements.”
Both firms noted that a bunker-fired plant is the most feasible stop-gap measure to supply the needs of ASELCO’s service area since no new large capacities are coming on stream in the grid until 2015.
Several areas in Mindanao have been suffering from recurrent power outages – a dismal condition that consumers in the region might have to suffer in the next two to three years more.
The long-term solution for Mindanao power supply is just seen coming with the commercial operations of the coal-fired plants currently being developed by the Aboitiz and Alcantara groups.
For the short-term solutions, while there are measures proposed by government, some of these are not really moving as fast as expected.
This has been prompting power utilities in the grid then, including the electric cooperatives, to scour for remedial measures and coping mechanisms that could ease brownout conditions in their respective franchise areas.   source

‘Differentiated FITs’ enforced on 2nd RE installation

Manila Bulletin 
By Myrna M. Velasco 
Published: May 27, 2013 
First-movers will have prime advantage availing flat feed-in-tariff (FIT) per technology; while the next round of renewable energy (RE) installations will be enforced with differentiated FITs, according to Department of Energy (DOE) director Mario Marasigan.
He told reporters that calculations for differentiated FITs for the next round of RE projects are already being done by the National Renewable Energy Board.
The energy official explained that the future FIT numbers will be crunched “depending on the capacity of the power plant and the technology that will be used in future projects.”
For instance, he noted that for projects with bigger capacity installations, the FIT will be lower. That will be the time when a 150-megawatt wind plant may have lower FIT than a 50-MW development of the same technology, it was added.
The initial call on the imposition of differentiated FITs was made when it was noticed that many of the RE power projects being implemented have bigger scale installations compared to the  megawatt-reference used by NREB on the approved FIT rates.
However, this was sternly opposed by project developers as they noted that “first-mover advantage should be extended to them for braving all the risks on the initial round of installations”; and any change in the rules shall just be carried out in the next round of projects.
With differentiated FITs in the future, it is expected that the cost impact of RE for consumers will also ease.
In many countries, FIT rates, primarily for solar and wind technologies, are already going down. Technologies have also been improving that wind projects could already be equipped with 7.5MW turbines.
Apparently though, RE policymakers prefer to side with the project developers this time, noting that the FIT Allowance (FIT-All) impact of the initially-allowed installations would still be meager at P0.03 to P0.05 per kWh.
Representative projects were used by NREB in the FIT calculations approved last year by the Energy Regulatory Commission.   source