SMC Global raises P40 billion from bond issuance

Richmond Mercurio - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — SMC Global Power Holdings Corp. has raised P40 billion from the issuance of bonds, the largest corporate bond issuance to date.

The power unit of conglomerate San Miguel Corp. has listed its P40-billion fixed rate bonds on the Philippine Dealing and Exchange Corp. (PDEX), following strong demand from investors.

Initially targeted to raise P30 billion, the bond offering drew significant interest from investors, prompting the company to exercise its oversubscription option of up to P10 billion.

It comprises the first tranche of SMC Global’s P60 billion shelf-registered peso retail bonds consisting of Series K Bonds, with an interest rate of 5.9077 percent per annum due in 2025, Series L Bonds at 7.1051 percent per annum due 2028, and Series M Bonds at 8.0288 percent per annum due 2032.

SMC president and CEO Ramon Ang said the funds provided by the bonds come at an opportune time as the company continues with its commitment to provide the country with reliable power supply amid the present challenges in the global fuel market.

“SMC Global Power fully supports the government’s thrust in powering the nation, as we continue to pursue business and expansion strategies that are aligned with our national and regional energy policies and needs — demonstrating our commitment to conduct business operations in a socially and environmentally responsible manner,” he said.

Ang said SMC Global is on track with its plans to minimize the country’s dependence on coal, as part of the conglomerate’s larger sustainability goals.

He said SMC and its operating units are currently working on a group-wide sustainability roadmap that would include major targets for its power business to achieve a sustainable energy future.

“Right now we’re facing an unprecedented situation, but even as we work to maintain reliable and sufficient supply throughout this crisis, we are also very much focused on continuing our transition to cleaner and renewable fuel sources, without compromising on supply, quality and affordability,” Ang said.

Last month, SMC Global completed putting up 500-megawatt-hour (MWh) of installed power storage capacity coming from new Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) facilities it is putting up nationwide.

Ang said the company’s total battery capacity is expected to go up to 700 MWh by yearend, and further to 1,000 MWh by the end of 2023, once all 32 BESS facilities come online.

SMC Global said this is the very first and largest battery network in the Philippines by far.

According to Ang, the company’s BESS network will be key to ensuring reliable power supply nationwide, even in far-off areas.

It is designed to minimize wastage by storing and redistributing excess capacity to ensure even underserved regions can have the same sufficient, reliable electricity enjoyed by larger cities.

“Bringing electricity to power-challenged regions will help uplift the lives of more Filipinos, who will finally have access not just to basic electricity, but also opportunities and jobs brought about by electrification,” Ang said.

SMCGP’s BESS facilities are likewise seen crucial to wider use of renewable energy in the country.

“Currently, the main challenge of renewables is intermittence, or the unreliable nature of renewable sources such as wind, solar, and hydropower. Battery technology will enable renewable capacity to be stored, ready to be deployed even when solar or wind farms or hydropower plants are down,” Ang said.


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