AboitizPower to add more capacity for retail energy business

AboitizPower to add more capacity for retail energy business

ABOITIZ POWER CORP. eyes the installation of three new energy plants under its belt prior to its power distribution target of approximately 800 megawatts (MW) by 2020 in the retail energy business, the power company announced.

These are the 69-MW Manolo Fortich hydropower plant in Bukidnon, 340-MW Therma Visayas Inc. (in partnership with Vivant Corp.) in Cebu, and the 400-MW Pagbilao power plant in Quezon.

Aside from distribution facilities, the company is set to sell its available capacities to contestable market under the retail competition and open access (RCOA) scheme.

The Pagbilao power plant’s capacity will be reserved to the retail market.

“Today, we’re selling close to 500 MW to the contestable market and by 2020, we expect that to be about 800 MW under our whole group, the whole portfolio selling to contestable customers alone,” AboitizPower said.

However, these upcoming investments are still in the process of completing its contracts and do not have the market for utilization yet.

“The Manolo Fortich is a renewable energy plant, so it’s under the feed-in tariff (FIT) program. TVI is partially contracted but we hope that it would be fully contracted by the end of this year. Pagbilao 3 does not have no utility contracts but we expect substantial RCOA contracts,” said Luis Miguel Aboitiz, AboitizPower executive vice-president and chief operating officer for corporate services.

Manolo Fortich and Pagbilao are expected to be online by the end of the year, followed by Therma Visayas in the first quarter of 2018.

The new investments will follow AboitizPower’s 500-MW selling to the contestable market as part of its expansion strategy in reaching its maximum capacity yet as approved by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

The company is not looking to maximize its contestable customers at 800-MW because of the given temporary restraining order (TRO) imposed on the mandatory transition of contestable customers to RCOA.

“We hope to be 700-MW by the end of the year. But it’s harder to grow because now, Supreme Court has a TRO, we’re not sure if the TRO affects everything in the rules that came out. PEMC has stopped processing those who [have a demand of] 750 kilowatts to 1 MW,” said Aboitiz.

The Aboitiz power sector currently has a total 3,350-MW of sellable capacity. By 2020, it should reach 4,000-MW.

Under the RCOA scheme, end-users that are part of the contestable market are given the opportunity to choose their electricity supplier, which aims to lure competition in the generation and supply sector.