FOLLOWING its announcement of building a 150-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Cadiz City next year, North Negros Energy Power Corp. (NNEPC) announced it is open for partnerships.
Asia Pacific Energy Resources Inc. (Apervi) president Ceasar Lao-as said a number of potential foreign investors have already expressed interest in investing on the coal-fired power plant, which is expandable up to 300 MW.
“We are opening the business for potential partners because we are looking for an equipment provider given that 70 percent of the construction of the coal-fired power plant is equipment,” said Lao-as.
NNEPC is a subsidiary of Cebu-based Apervi, whose core business is coal trading and mining equipment distribution.
Lao-as said that of the 14 interested investors, Korean Electric Power Corp. (Kepco) is the “most aggressive.”
During President Benigno Aquino III’s recent two-day state visit in South Korea, Kepco committed to put up $700-million power plants that will produce a total of 850 MW in Bataan, Surigao del Sur, Cadiz and Negros Occidental.
According to Lao-as, Kepco sent them a letter of intent and has signed with them a non-disclosure agreement that includes the detailed feasibility study of the project.
The South Korea’s state-run power company has an existing power plant in Naga City, Cebu.
“What we know is that Kepco wanted to place a majority stake in the company but the board has yet to come up with the final decision. We hope to finalize before the end of the year,” said Lao-as. He said they will also consider other proposals of other interested firms.
Foreign investors need to inject a capital equity estimated at $9.3 million or P404 million. Investors like Kepco can own up to 40 percent in the development stage and 100 percent in the operational level.
Lao-as said Kepco and Daewoo officials are scheduled to visit Cadiz City this week.
NNEPC is developing a coal-fired power plant in the 10-hectare reclamation site in Cadiz City’s commercial port in Brgy. Banquerohan. This is Apervi’s first foray into the energy industry.
According to Lao-as, the project already passed its series of public hearings and has been endorsed by the local government unit.
The company hopes to start construction by the second or third quarter in 2014. They expect the power plant to be operational by 2016.
Eighty-percent of power distributed by power cooperatives in Cadiz is imported from Kepco, said Lao-as. Residents there are paying P11-12 per kilowatt hour.
With the power plant in place, he said they expect power prices to drop to P6 to P7 per kilowatt hour similar to Cebu.
Lao-as said the new power plant in Negros will be beneficial to the Visayas grid especially during these times, where some power plants in the Eastern Visayas are in rehabilitation after a super typhoon hit the region last Nov. 8.
“We have a strong economy now and we can’t sustain the growth if we will not invest in power,” he said. “How can we also attract industries to locate in the countryside or outside Manila if we don’t have enough power supply?”
Negros is the country’s sugar plantation hub. Fishing is also the province’s other source of income. At present, the province is now slowly becoming industrialized with the entry of retail establishments and business process outsourcing.
Katlene O. Cacho. (Sunday, December 1, 2013). Energy firm open to partnerships. Sun.Star Cebu. Retrieved from http://www.sunstar.com.ph/cebu/business/2013/12/01/energy-firm-open-partnerships-31659.1