Ayala group sells stake in Iloilo power project

While it was practically its first equity acquisition in a coal-fired power project, the energy unit of the Ayala Group is now abandoning its stake in the 135-megawatt Iloilo power project.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, AC Energy Holdings Inc. (ACEHI), the power subsidiary of Ayala Corporation, noted that it sold back its 40-percent shareholdings in the project to Palm Concepcion Power Corporation (PCPC).

PCPC is the corporate vehicle implementing the development of the coal-fired plant; and with Ayala's sell-out, publicly-listed firm A. Brown Company Inc. will become its majority equity holder again.

"The sale by ACEHI is a result of its strategic decision to focus on other power projects imminent in its development pipeline," the Ayala firm has emphasized.

In its own disclosure to the local bourse, A. Brown has noted that Palm Thermal Consolidated Holdings Corporation (PTCHC) "has taken the opportunity to acquire the entire stake of ACEHI." The sale also lumped in the land holding company of the project.

PCPC noted that despite the departure of its major partner, it "will continue to pursue the power plant project as scheduled." The other partner in the venture is local firm Jin Navitas Resource Inc.

Aside from the Iloilo project, the Ayala group is in partnership with Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corporation of the Phinma Group for a 135-MW power plant venture in Calaca, Batangas. The facility has already been slated for expansion of another 135MW and construction is targeted this year.

Another one in Ayala firm's energy portfolio is its acquired stake in the 600-megawatt GNPower coal-fired project, a facility that is now contributing to the power supply of Luzon grid.

For the Iloilo project, PCPC previously disclosed that long-term coal supply for the facility has already been firmed up with PT Pevensey. It will draw from its Arjuna coal mine in East Kalimantan.

The plant, which will be sited in a 30-hectare property, will help meet the electricity supply of Visayas grid in the medium term.