Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Alsons limits Japanese firm’s ownership in Sarangani plant

Posted on January 27, 2017 By Victor V. Saulon, Sub-Editor

MAASIM, SARANGANI -- Alsons Consolidated Resources, Inc. (ACR) has put a cap on the ownership share of its Japanese partner in the Sarangani coal-fired power plant.
”We were the ones who put the limit on what their share will be,” said Tomas I. Alcantara, chairman of Alsons unit Sarangani Energy Corp. in a press briefing here on Thursday.

Sarangani Energy held the ceremonial switch-on of its first 105-megawatt (MW) unit and the broke ground for the second unit on Thursday, an event attended by President Rodrigo R. Duterte and officials of the company’s foreign partners.

Mr. Alcantara, who is also chairman and president of ACR, said the move was prompted by “certain constitutional limitations” on the foreign company’s stake in the 210-MW power plant project.

The decision is a departure from what other company officials said on December that Japan’s Toyota Tsusho Corp. was looking at increasing its existing 25% stake in Sarangani Energy although its decision was dependent on factors such as a forged power supply agreement.

“We are in talks with other groups,” Mr. Alcantara said. He further described the interested groups as multinational entities and institutional investors from the Philippines and abroad.

“If it is foreign [partner]... we are limited to 40%,” he said. “If it is a local partner where the national requirement does not exist, we are going to be limited to 49%.”

Sarangani Energy currently holds 75% in the project, and is willing to trim this stake to 51% to remain the majority stakeholder, Mr. Alcantara said.

The decision on Sarangani Energy’s newest partner should be finalized in the first half, he said, adding that Toyota Tsusho will keep its stake at 25%.

The second unit of the Sarangani plant is one of Alson’s three major power projects in Mindanao. The others are the 15-MW Siguil run-of-river hydroelectric plant also in Maasim, and the 105-MW San Ramon Power, Inc. baseload coal-fired power plant in Talisayan, Zamboanga City.

Alsons currently operates three diesel power facilities -- the 103-MW Mapalad Power Corp. diesel plant in Iligan City, the 55-MW Southern Philippines Power Corp. plant in Alabel, Sarangani and the 100-MW power plant of the Western Mindanao Power Corp. in Zamboanga City.

By 2020, Alsons it will have about 588-MW of generating capacity, which can serve around 25% of Mindanao’s projected peak power demand for that year, Mr. Alcantara said.

During the event, Mr. Duterte repeated his stand to not back the climate change treaty forged in late 2015, saying this was due to the lack of provisions on how the supposed funds to help climate vulnerable nations could be accessed and the lack of accountability for violators.

“If there is a violation, it leaves it at that. There is no sanction at all,” he said.

He also reiterated the unfairness of the treaty to the small countries, which are way behind developed countries in development and would be curtailed in their aim to industrialize while contending with a growing population.

“We the small ones, we who do not have the power to impose our will on the others. We will just have to follow,” he said.

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