Meralco unit nears P40-B Mauban funding deal

By Claire Feliciano, BusinessWorld (26 July 2015)

THE JOINT venture of Meralco PowerGen Corp. (MGen) and Thailand’s New Growth B.V. is in talks with local banks for a P40-billion loan that will partly fund a 455-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant it is building in Quezon province.


The joint venture -- San Buenaventura Power Ltd. Co. (SBPL) -- could close the deal next month, according to Betty C. Siy-Yap, senior vice-president and chief financial officer of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), the parent firm of MGen.


“SBPL will have its financial closing in August,” Ms. Siy-Yap said, speaking to reporters last week.


The loan will have a term of “more than 10 years,” she added.


The coal-fired power plant in Mauban, Quezon is expected to go online in early 2019, with construction scheduled to start this year.

IN THE PIPELINE

Besides this project, another subsidiary of MGen -- Redondo Peninsula Energy, Inc. -- is also working to raise funding for a 600-MW coal project in Subic, Zambales.


Also in MGen’s power generation pipeline is another coal project: the 1,200-MW Atimonan plant in Quezon.


The company is also in talks with Japanese firms Osaka Gas and Mitsui for a potential 1,500-MW liquefied natural gas project.


MGen aims to build a sizable power generation portfolio.


The company is also part of Global Business Power Corp. (GBPC) through its 22% interest. GBPC is one of the largest independent power producers in the Visayas region.


MGen has also ventured abroad in partnership with First Pacific Co. Ltd.


The two have incorporated PacificLight Power Pte. Ltd., which holds a 70% stake in GMR Energy Singapore Pte. Ltd. -- the owner of an 800-MW natural gas power plant in Jurong Island, Singapore.


MGen’s parent company, Meralco, is the Philippines’ largest power distributor with over five million customers.


Meralco’s controlling stakeholder, Beacon Electric Asset Holdings, Inc., is partly owned by Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT).


Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has interest inBusinessWorldthrough the Philippine Star Group, which it controls.

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