AboitizPower seeks greenfield projects in Indonesia, Myanmar

Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) - May 23, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Aboitiz Power Corp. continues to scout for greenfield projects in Indonesia and Myanmar, while still on the lookout for potential acquisition in the Philippines, top officials said.

In a briefing after the company’s stockholders’ meeting Monday, Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc. president and CEO Erramon Aboitiz said the thrust to pursue new power investments outside the country, particularly in Indonesia and Myanmar, remains a priority of the Aboitiz Group.

“We are continuing to look at greenfield developments in both Indonesia and Myanmar. These are developing nations. It takes a while before these things actually bear fruit. But definitely the effort is there,” he said.

The two countries are attractive in terms of power investments since these countries are in need of massive power supply.

“To be honest, their need for power makes it compelling. Clearly, those countries continue to grow, they need power and today they’re short of power. So from a demand supply point of view, its a compelling reason for investment,” Aboitiz said.

“It’s still early days as far as regulatory and risks are concerned…it’s really a pioneering effort. But we think that because those countries need the power badly… then it’s a good opportunity to come in early,” he said.

To mitigate risks of unclear regulatory policies, Aboitiz said they are eyeing to partner or take loans from mulitaleral lenders.

Moreover, those countries are part of the larger ASEAN continent where power could be exported within the region, AboitizPower president and COO Antonio Moraza said in the same briefing.

“One of the aspects I find encouraging about Myanmar and Indonesia is that they’re part of the large continent. So the possibility of producing in one country and exporting in another, it’s there,” he said.

Since a lot of capacity would be needed, power supply would be covered by long-term bilateral contracts which could allow power companies to have a view of prospective revenue, Moraza said.

In terms of technology, AboitizPower is focused on hydropower investments in those countries.

“At the moment, our primary interest is hydro. We’ve also looked at some solar opportunities. The large hydro is generally the areas we’re interested,” Moraza said.

At home, the AboitizPower firm is also on the lookout for potential acquisitions when asked if they are interested in the thermal assets of AC Energy, the power business of Ayala Corp.  

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