MANILA (Reuters) - Some of the Philippines’ biggest conglomerates have unveiled plans to push into power generation over the next five years, with investments seen reaching $9 billion.
Concerns are growing that some of these projects will face delays, hampering the country’s ability to drive steady long-term growth after expanding its economy at an annual rate of 7.8 percent in the first quarter, the fastest in Asia.
Following is a list of companies planning to invest in power:
Aboitiz Power, which has a portfolio of power plants with a total capacity of 2,400 megawatts, plans to invest $3 billion to build new plants and increase the capacity of existing facilities.
Aboitiz Power, a unit of conglomerate Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc aims to increase its total generation capacity by 50 percent to 3,500 MW by 2018, making it the country’s biggest power producer.
Projects include a 300 MW coal-fired power plant in central Cebu province, which is still on the drawing board, the 400 MW expansion of its Pagbilao coal-fired power plant in Luzon, and a 600 MW coal-fired power plant in partnership with Manila Electric Co also in Luzon.
Ayala Corp’s unlisted unit, AC Energy Holdings Inc, is looking to build a portfolio of $2.5 billion worth of power facilities generating as much as 1,000 MW over the next five years.
Ayala recently entered into an agreement to acquire a 20 percent stake in GN Power Mariveles Coal Plant Co, a 600 MW coal-fired facility that started operation in May.
It has a 50 percent interest in South Luzon Thermal Energy Corp which is constructing a 270 MW coal plant in Batangas province in partnership with Trans Asia Oil and Development Corp.
San Miguel’s unlisted unit, SMC Global Power, plans to invest $1.5 billion in two power projects, one in Luzon and another in Mindanao, with a total capacity of 900 MW.
San Miguel, the Philippines’ most diversified conglomerate, aims to raise $150 million to as much as $700 million via an initial public offering of SMC Global this year to fund projects that it hopes to complete by 2015.
SMC Global, currently the country’s largest power producer, operates the Sual coal, Ilijan natural gas and San Roque hydro power plants providing 2,545 MW to the Luzon grid.
Meralco, the Philippines’ largest power utility supplying power to Manila and several provinces in Luzon, has teamed up with Aboitiz Power and Taiwan Cogeneration Corp to build a 600 MW coal-fired power plant in Subic Freeport Economic Zone in the northwestern Zambales province.
The Subic project requires total investment of $1.2 billion. The project has been delayed by public resistance to coal due to environmental concerns and some regulatory issues, and the company has pushed back its start date to 2017.
Global Business Power Corp, a unit of conglomerate GT Capital and the main electricity provider in the Visayas, plans to build a 30-billion-peso ($730 million) coal-fired plant that will produce 300 MW for the Mindanao grid in partnership with Meralco.
Global Business also expects to spend at least $480 million to increase the capacity of its power facilities in the central Philippines.
It plans to expand into Luzon, where it sees the power supply at a critical level by 2018.
Alsons believes its power unit is on track to produce an additional 282 MW by 2016 to meet power-starved Mindanao’s growing demand for electricity.
The company’s current capacity is at 181 MW, from its three operating power facilities on the island.
By 2016, Alsons expects total capacity of 463 MW, more than a quarter of the Department of Energy’s projected Mindanao peak power demand of 1,829 MW.
Reporting by Erik dela Cruz; Editing by Richard Pullin