By Lenie Lectura - May 23, 2017
GLOBAL Business Power Corp. (GBPC) seeks to more than double its current power-generation capacity from 854 megawatts (MW) to as much as 2,000 MW in five years.
“Our main thrust is to expand into other regions, particularly the Luzon and Mindanao markets. We are approaching our limit in the Visayas; we are at about 29 percent already. The only way to expand is to enter other regions. The goal is to double the capacity in five years, to be in the vicinity of 1,500 MW to 2,000 MW,” newly appointed GBPC President Jaime Azurin said.
“GBPC is one of the leading independent power producers in the Visayas, with facilities located in Cebu, Iloilo, Aklan and Mindoro. Now that the company has secured the base-load requirement of the Visayas, the company is now expanding in Luzon. In particular, the company plans to set up a 2×335 MW coal-power facility,” he said. Azurin added “at least 10 percent to 20 percent” of the planned additional capacity will consist of renewable energy.
“We are looking at biomass, hydro and solar,” he said, adding the company prefers not to divulge project details. “We are in the midst of development.” Azurin said prospects for a “large-scale” hydropower project, with a capacity of at least 100 MW, could be located in Mindanao. He added the company is willing to take in partners. The project may start construction within the first quarter of next year. “A lot of groups are trying to get in. Normally, we get some technical partners. Definitely, we will have a partner,” he said.
For its planned biomass project, Azurin added the company is looking at other biomass sources other than bagasse. “Our plan was to have bagasse, but we are looking at other sources, and that makes technology quite expensive. I don’t think we will go to single-source biomass,” he said.
Project financing will be sourced from a combination of internal funds and borrowings. “We are looking at 70 percent to 75 percent financing. There is no firm amount yet, but we will have some borrowings for expansion outside of the Visayas,” he added.
Azurin is hoping future operations from the planned power projects will improve the company’s financial position.
“If we double the capacity, we hope to double the income if we maintain the margins. But with competition, maybe it’s going to be an additional 60 percent to 70 percent,” he said.
In 2016 the company posted P2.64 billion in net income, from P2.8 billion a year earlier.
“It was a little bit lower because of competition,” Azurin said.
In the first quarter of the year, GBPC’s net income stood at P508 million as against P397 million in the same period a year ago.