EDC firms up Indon geothermal venture

Energy Development Corp., the largest geothermal company in the Philippines, is acquiring an initial 25-percent stake in a joint venture that will build four power plants with a combined capacity of 220 megawatts in Indonesia.

Stockholders of diversified conglomerate First Philippine Holdings Corp.
reaffirm their commitment to the company’s 15-man board by reelecting
them during the annual general meeting Monday. Shown (from left)
Ernesto Rufino, Jr., director; Cesar  Bautista, independent director;
Eugenio Lopez III, director; Elpidio Ibañez, director and president;
Enrique Quiason, compliance officer and corporate secretary; Oscar
Lopez, chairman emeritus and chief strategic officer; Federico  Lopez,
director, chairman and chief executive; Ambassador Manuel Lopez,
director and vice chairman; Washington Sycip, independent director;
Francis Giles Puno, executive vice president and chief finance officer;
Chief Justice Artemio  Panganiban (ret.), independent director; Juan
Santos, independent director; Oscar  Hilado, independent director; and
Arthur De Guia, director. Also reelected are Peter Garrucho and Augusto
Almeda-Lopez (not in photo).
First Philippine Holdings Corp. chief finance officer Francis Giles Puno said in an interview at the sidelines of the annual stockholders’ meeting of FPHC that EDC might finalize the geothermal venture in Indonesia by the second half of the year.

EDC is a unit of First Gen Corp., which in turn is a subsidiary of FPHC.

EDC in joint venture with an Indonesian concession holder will build four units with a generation capacity of 55 megawatts each in Indonesia at an estimated cost of over $1 billion.

“We will initially have minority interest in the joint venture but we will have management control,” Puno said.

Puno said EDC planned to increase its stake in the Indonesian joint venture over time to a majority and keep management control.

“We hope to make some announcements on the joint venture by the second half of the year,” Puno said.

FPH chairman Federico Lopez said the company is looking at Indonesia for possible expansion after Jakarta decided to open up its power sector.

EDC in January formed a joint venture with Vancouver-based renewable energy developer Alterra Power Corp. to develop its remaining geothermal projects in Peru.

EDC under the agreement will get a 70 percent interest in the development asset portfolio and finance 100 percent of the next $6 million in development costs.

EDC of the Lopez Group is the second largest geothermal company in the world. It operates 11 geothermal power plants and two hydro-electric stations with a combined capacity of 1,262 MW. It has been actively expanding its project portfolio to Indonesia, Peru and Chile.

Meanwhile, FPHC said unit First Philippine Industrial Park Inc. has embarked on on an expansion program amid the increase demand for manufacturing facilities from foreign investors.

The company said it expects to get eight new locators on the 350-hectare industrial park in Sto. Tomas, Batangas in the first six months of the year Lopez said many Japanese investors were interested in investing in the Philippines to diversify their supply chain.

FPIP recently bought another 90 hectares of land, with 60 hectares ready for occupation by potential locators.

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