By Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 16, 2017 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - Aboitiz Power Corp. is pursuing hydropower ventures in Indonesia and Myanmar as it looks to expand its business in Southeast Asia amid the oversupply situation in the Philippines, its top official said yesterday.
The two countries have the potential for several hundreds of megawatts of hydropower projects which will be the company’s focus for its overseas expansion, AboitizPower president and chief operating officer Antonio Moraza said.
“(We’re looking at) large, impounding (hydropower plants) in Myanmar, which has the potential for several hundred MW,” Moraza said. “Indonesia is good. It has the potential of 400 or 500 MW if you cascade it (but) the size is yet to be determined.”
For these overseas ventures, AboitizPower will be teaming up with SN Power AS of Norway and with local firms, the company official said.
“Our partners have the expertise; you know they have over 15,000 MW of hydropower in Norway. These guys really know what they are doing,” Moraza said.
The Norwegian firm is its partner in developing several hydropower facilities in the Philippines.
AboitizPower has already gotten a headstart in Indonesia after it partnered with SN Power and PT Energi Infranusantara to invest in PT Auriga Energi which will conduct the feasibility studies for the exploration and development of a potential 127-MW hydropower generation project along the Lariang River in Central Sulawesi.
The Philippine power firm is on the lookout for more hydro projects in Indonesia, Moraza said, after it withdrew its participation in a geothermal power project in that country to focus resources in ongoing projects last month.
“Our experience with geothermal is, I think, we’ve come to realize that it is riskier than we thought,” he said.
In Myanmar, the company official said they have identified a site and sent staff to study the site.
“We know the site; people have been there. We studied, talked to local community, the typical. When you have all of that and you have licenses, etc then there you can already start the design. It’s long and takes a while,” Moraza said.
Once development starts for these projects, these will be on top of the company’s target to have 4,000-MW attributable capacity by 2020, the company official said.
“The 4,000 MW for 2020 is already there, kind of made. We have several projects ongoing…None of these include any expansion outside the Philippines because the (overseas) expansion outside wont be finished by 2020,” Moraza said.
The company is set to complete five projects with a total capacity of 828.3 MW this year. These include the 69-MW Manolo Fortich hydropower plant in Bukidnon, and the 8.5-MW Maris Canal hydro project in Isabela through its subsidiary SN AboitizPower.
Together with its partners, AboitizPower is also in the process of completing the 340-MW Therma Visayas baseload power plant in Toledo, Cebu and the 400-MW Pagbilao power plant expansion.
AboitizPower has likewise partnered with Vivant Corp. for the Toledo power project while the Pagbilao plant expansion is in partnership with TeaM Energy Corp.
It is also co-developing the 2x300-MW coal-fired power plant in Subic, Zambales under Redondo Peninsula Energy Inc. (RP Energy), which is targeted to go online by mid-2020.
The firm also bought 40 percent into GNPower Dinginin Ltd. Co., which is building a 2x668-MW supercritical thermal power plant in Bataan.