October 03, 2016 at 11:50 pm
Alena Mae S. Flores
A unit of Aboitiz Power Corp. emerged as the preferred bidder for the combined interests of The Blackstone Group LP in the Mariveles and Diningin coal projects with a combined capacity of 1,900 megawatts.
Aboitiz Power said in a disclosure to the stock exchange unit Therma Power Inc. was chosen as the preferred bidder “for the competitive tender process undertaken by certain investment funds affiliated with The Blackstone Group L.P. for the indirect sale of all of their partnership interests in GNPower Mariveles Coal Plant Ltd. Co. and GNPower Dinginin Ltd. Co.”
Aboitiz Power said the parties were “currently negotiating the final terms and conditions of the transaction documents,” which would include certain preconditions to closing, including approvals by the Philippine Competition Commission and the Board of Investments.
Sithe Global Power LLC, owned by the Blackstone Group holds a majority stake in GN Power Mariveles’ 600-megawatt coal plant in Bataan and is developing, together with partners AC Energy Holdings Inc. and GN Power, the 1,300-MW Dinginin power plant also located in Bataan.
“As a player in the power industry, we feel it’s incumbent on us to explore all opportunities that present themselves which will lead to our continued growth,” Aboitiz Power president Antonio Moraza said earlier.
Therma Power was chosen as the preferred bidder over foreign groups. Bloomberg reported earlier that among the final bidders for Sithe Global Power’s stake were the group of Kuwait Investment Authority and private equity firm CVC Capital Partners and a consortium of Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC Pte, Malaysian power company Malakoff Corp. and an infrastructure investment fund managed by Macquarie Group Ltd.
Aboitiz Power is of the country’s biggest power players that set a target to increase installed capacity to 4,000 MW by 2020.
Aside from Sithe Global, other equity owners of the Mariveles project are Ayala Corp.’s AC Energy Holdings Inc. and GNPower. According to Sithe Global’s website, the Mariveles power plant has the lowest marginal operating cost compared any coal project in the Luzon grid.
The Mariveles power plant consists of two identical 300-MW power blocks using proven pulverized coal combustion technology.
The plant was designed to meet the more restrictive Philippine and World Bank emission standards while selling power to offtakers under long-term power purchase agreements.
The plant sources its coal fuel requirements under a long-term offtake agreement with an Indonesian supplier.
Sithe Global, together with partners AC Energy and GN Power is also presently developing the Dinginin power plant. The plant is targeted to become online by 2019.
The two by 650-MW coal plants will utilize supercritical pulverized coal technology.