Ayala set to complete coal sale to Aboitiz unit

By on November 19, 2018

AC Energy Inc., the power unit of Ayala Corp., said it expects to close the sale of its 49-percent voting stake and 60-percent economic interest in AA Thermal Inc. to Aboitiz Power Corp. by early next year.

Aboitiz Power and Arlington Mariveles Netherlands Holding B.V., an affiliate of AC Energy, signed a share purchase agreement worth $579.2 million (P31.4 billion) on Sept. 26, Manila Standard reported.

“We expect that to reach financial close early 2019. We’re just waiting for PCC [Philippine Competition Commission] and some other [approvals],” AC Energy president Eric Francia said.

The AA Thermal platform acquired by Aboitiz Power consists of AC Energy’s limited partnership interests in GNPower Mariveles Coal Plant Ltd. Co., the owner and operator of a 632-megawatt coal plant in Mariveles, Bataan; and in GNPower Dinginin Ltd. Co., the developer and operator of a 1,336-MW coal-fired plant project in Dinginin, Bataan, which is currently under construction.

Once completed, the acquisition will increase Aboitiz Power’s ownership in the Mariveles coal plant to 78.325 percent and in the Dinginin coal plant project to 70 percent.

The Mariveles coal plant has been operating since 2013, while the first unit of the Dinginin coal plant project is scheduled to go online in 2019.

Francia said AC Energy was in active discussion with interested parties for the sale of part of its interest in the 552-megawatt GN Power Kauswagan coal plant.

“Some of the investors expressed interest to partner with us at a platform level, but some investors expressed interest to have a path to control, ultimately buy out  everything,” he said.

“We’re not in a great hurry.  If there’s anything that will happen for the balance of our platform, there’s no great rush. This will have to depend on various counter parties,” the executive said.

He said there was a strong interest in the Kauswagan coal project because of its size and location.

“There’s quite a bit of interest in Kausawagan because it’s sizable plant. It’s the most competitive in Mindanao. It’s strategically located because it will be the major substation that will ultimately be connected to Cebu because the Mindanao -Visayas interconnection typically need two major substations to balance the frequency,” he said.

He said the priority of AC Energy and its partners was to finish the Kauswagan project by 2019.

Manila Electric Co. and San Miguel Corp. are reportedly studying bidding for AC Energy’s Kausawagan coal project.

AC Energy owns an 85-percent economic stake in GNPower Kauswagan, in partnership with the Philippine Investment Alliance for Infrastructure Fund and Power Partners.

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