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03 March 2009

Aboitiz Power defers Subic power project

THE construction of the 300-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant of Aboitiz Power Corp. (AP) at the Redondo Peninsula in Subic has been deferred indefinitely as a result of reduced demand in the Luzon grid.

AP chief financial officer Iker Aboitiz said, "We are basically taking a closer look at the project and looking at what's going to happen in the Luzon grid this year because of the slowdown. The need for more capacity is not as clean-cut as in the Visayas grid."

However, Aboitiz said they are not abandoning the plan to put up the $450-million power plant, a joint project of AP and Taiwan Cogeneration Corp. that was originally slated for completion in 2011.

"It is just a matter of when to build it. We will need it and the capacity, for sure. We are just looking at our options in terms of timing." Aboitiz said.

Aside from its Redondo Peninsula project, AP is pushing for other brand-new generation projects: the 460-MW coal-fired plant in Toledo in partnership with Metrobank and Formosa Heavy Industries of Taiwan, and the hydroelectric plant in Sibulan in Davao Oriental by AP subsidiary Hedcor.

At the same time, AP is preparing to create a special purpose vehicle to bid for the Sual and Pagbilao power plants expected to be up for bidding by the middle of the year. Sual-Pagbilao produces about 1,700 MW.

"We can bid for two [facilities] , but the government does not want one company to control that much power so that we are only bidding for one," said Aboitiz. He did not identify which facilities AP is considering. (Wilfredo Rodolfo III, Business Mirror)

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