Published January 3, 2017, 10:01 PM By Myrna M. Velasco
Aboitiz Renewables, Inc. (ARI) has bailed out its solar development firm San Carlos Sun Power, Inc. (SACASUN) by assuming project loan worth P2.882 billion that partly bankrolled the 59-megawatt peak (MWp) San Carlos solar farm facility in Negros Occidental.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, parent firm Aboitiz Power Corporation noted that subsidiary Aboitiz Renewables has signed a memorandum of understanding with Banco de Oro Unibank Inc. (BDO) and SACASUN “for the acquisition by ARI of SACASUN’s loan.”
Previously, SACASUN signed omnibus loan agreement and security agreement with BDO “to secure a loan in the amount of up to P3.7 billion to fund the project.”
SACASUN is the corporate vehicle jointly owned by ARI and American firm partner Sun Edison Philippines Helios B.V. which pursued the development of the San Carlos solar project.
The US firm, however, suffered financial setbacks that then triggered some problems and complications on its partnership with the Aboitiz group on the solar venture.
The SACASUN facility joined the second wave race of feed-in-tariff (FIT) race, but it is now among the projects on which fate still hangs on the propounded incentive.
In July last year, Sun Edison filed for bankruptcy proceedings under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, citing grounds on bids for “voluntary petition for reorganization.”
Following that development, ARI issued “default notices” to its joint venture partner relative to their investment pact on the SACASUN project; and for the Aboitiz group to also protect its interest in the venture.
No further development had been disclosed so far from then, including on queries if the Aboitiz Group opts to explore investment tie-up with other parties.
Company officials just indicated that despite the setbacks, they are “fully committed to the solar project” and will also judiciously raise their concern with government on project completion concerns relating to the FIT race.