Garcia-led power firm earmarks P3.3 billion capex

Source: The Freeman – June 22, 2018
Author: Ehda M. Dagooc

CEBU, Philippines — Energy firm Vivant Corporation is allocating P3.3 billion capital expenditure to expand its generation and distribution coverage in off-grid SPUG (small power utilities group) market expansions.

This was announced by Vivant Corporation executive vice president and chief operating officer (COO) Arlo G. Sarmiento yesterday during the company’s 2017 Annual Stockholders Meeting held at the Montebello Villa Hotel.

A huge chunk of the company’s expansion budget until 2020 will focus on providing reliable power supply in small islands around the country, particularly in Palawan and the Visayas.

The Garcia-led, publicly listed power firm, started its entry to off-grid SPUG market with its equity investments in Palawan.

Along with its partners, the company broke ground for the 2.68 megawatt (MW) Sabang Renewable Energy Corporation (SREC) in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, where the 8th world’s wonder Underground River is located.

SREC, where Vivant has a 30 percent equity, is a renewable hybrid power plant with a micro-grid component. It is expected to be completed in 2019.

A renewable hybrid project contracted to the Busuanga Island Electric Cooperative (BISELCO) in Cullion and Linapacan in northern Palawan under the Culion Renewable Energy Corporation (CREC) is also started to provide 6.07 megawatt (MW) power capacity.

“The off-grid SPUG market continues to be a priority growth area for Vivant. By investing in the projects like these, we will fulfill our commitment to contribute to the inclusive growth of Filipino communities around the country,” said Sarmiento.

The company is also spending P2.1 billion to put up a 670-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in La Union under Global Luzon Energy Development Corp. (GLEDC). Vivant has 42.5 percent stake in GLEDC project, in a joint venture with Global Business Power Corp. (GBPC).
Faced with tighter competition, Sarmiento reported a slight drop of its net income in 2017 at P1.26 billion from 1.29 billion in 2016, due to expiration of income tax holiday of an associated firm.

Despite challenges and increasing number of players in the power generation and distribution businesses, Sarmiento said the company looking forward to a conservative average annual growth rate of 5.7 percent in the few years.

He said the power deregulation, which attracted more new entrants in the market put pressures to the small power companies in the Philippines.

Nevertheless, Vivant is banking on its growth security on penetrating the off-grid SPUG market.

Vivant is a Cebu-based power firm that has diverse investments in energy distribution, generation and retail electricity supply.

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