Phinma expanding energy portfolio

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Investment holding firm Phinma Corp., through its power unit Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corp., plans to expand its energy portfolio with more investments in wind and geothermal power.

Ramon del Rosario Jr., Phinma president and chief executive officer, said the group is studying several opportunities to bolster its presence in the energy sector, one of which is the expansion of its recently-completed 54 megawatt (MW) wind farm in San Lorenzo, Guimaras.

Del Rosario said the company may increase the Guimaras wind farm’s capacity by another 40 MW.

“Yes, we may expand it depending on how successful we are in getting the feed-in-tariff (FIT) and what the next round of FIT will be,” he said.

The government-approved FIT rate for wind is P8.53 per kilowatt-hour. The rate serves as the government’s incentive for renewable energy players by guaranteeing a fixed price for a given period for their supply of energy.

With a benchmark investment cost of $2.5-to $3.5-million per MW based on industry estimates, Phinma may have to pour in around $100-to $140-million for the 40-MW expansion.

Aside from the potential expansion, Del Rosario said Phinma may also construct wind farms in other areas of the country, as well as invest in the development of more geothermal facilities.

“We’re still looking on other possibilities. On the power side we’re looking at other opportunities in wind and we’re also looking at opportunities in geothermal,” Del Rosario said.

“We’ve completed our wind project in Guimaras, that’s 54 MW. We’ve completed Line 1 of our Calaca power plant, Line 2 is also coming along very nicely. Well Line 1 is already delivering power actually and will be fully on stream all of next year. And then later next year, we will commission Line 2,” he added.

The Guimaras wind farm is Phinma’s foray into wind power generation. Power arm Trans-Asia at present holds several wind service contracts in areas that include Nueva Valencia and Sibunag in Guimaras, and various towns in Cagayan.

TransAsia is also constructing a 270-MW coal-fired power plant in Calaca, Batangas through South Luzon Thermal Energy Corp., a 50-50 joint venture with AC Energy Holdings, Inc., the energy subsidiary of Ayala Corp.

The company is expecting the second 135-MW generating units of the coal plant to be completed next year.

TransAsia is also part of a consortium behind the 20 MW Maibarara geothermal facility in Sto. Tomas, Batangas which started operations in Feburary this year.

With its power projects due for completion next year, Del Rosario said the Phinma Group’s power portfolio would reach a total of 270 MW.

Phinma’s power unit projects to grow its capacity to nearly 500 MW by 2016.


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