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21 January 2009

Aboitiz suspends construction of 300MW coal

The intended construction of the 300-megawatt coal plant in Subic Bay, Zambales has been suspended by the Aboitiz Group and its partners.

Erramon Aboitiz, president and chief executive officer of Aboitiz Power Corp., said the decision on whether to push through or not with the development of the coal plant will be based on the review they will conduct.

"We have pushed back our notice to proceed further. We’ve decided to hold off and review it for the second quarter. We were hoping to start construction in the first quarter of the year," he said.

Aboitiz Power Corp. and Taiwan Cogen International Corp., a subsidiary of Taiwan Cogen Corp., jointly own Redondo Peninsula Energy Inc., operator of the proposed 300-MW coal plant that will utilize clean coal technology.

The planned 300-MW facility will be built on a leased Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority property near the Hanjin shipbuilding facility. The plant can utilize local and imported coal.

Mr. Aboitiz said the coal plant is estimated to cost up to US$500 million. "We will look at costing again because costs have come down. We will also review the demand in the Luzon grid...because if the growth is negative, we would probably think of delaying the project further," he said. (LDV/MSN, PNA)

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