Aboitiz Power among 52 firms excluded from Norway bank fund

The Norweigian central bank excluded 52 companies, including Aboitiz Power Corp. from the Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) because of the Philippine-based firm’s business activities involving coal-fired power plants.

The Norges Bank released the list of companies omitted from its funding, including 22 firms from the United States, seven each from China and India, three from Japan, two each from Australia, Canada, Chile, and Hong Kong, and one each from Greece, Poland, South Africa and the Philippines.

The firms were excluded from the CPFG after Norway’s Ministry of Finance rolled out a new product-related criterion for observation and exclusion from the fun, which took effect in February.

“Norges Bank has decided to exclude 52 companies from the Government Pension Fund Global after an assessment of the new product-based coal criterion. The exclusions follow a first round of analysis by Norges Bank Investment Management. Further exclusions will follow in 2016,” Norwegian bank said.

“Where thermal coal is a significant part of a company’s business activities, the company may be excluded from the fund. The new criterion states that coal power companies and mining companies who themselves, or through other operations they control, base 30 percent or more of their activities on coal, and/or derive 30 percent of their revenues from coal, may be excluded from the GPFG,” the Norges Bank said.

Energy secretary Alfonso Cusi recently said that the country cannot simply abandon the use of coal projects in the country.

Aboitiz Power (AP) said that it will continue to engage with the bank as it makes its transition to investing in more renewable energy.

“AP remains committed to provide reliable and reasonably-priced power with the least possible adverse effects on its environment and host communities, the company said.

The GPFG is involved in 1, 710 megawatts (MW) of coal projects in the country. AP’s portfolio lists up to 1, 957 MW of coal- and oil-powered plants and 1, 217 MW of renewable energy (RE).