May 212013

MANILA, Philippines – SMC Global Power Holdings Corp., the power generation unit of diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp., is investing $1.5 billion for the construction of two new power plants, its top official said yesterday.

In a briefing with reporters on the sidelines of Petron Corp.’s annual stockholders’ meeting, SMC president Ramon Ang said the energy unit is spending about $1 billion for the construction of a 600-megawatt coal fired-plant in Bataan in northern Luzon and $500 million for another plant in Davao. Construction for the two plants has already started, he said.

He said SMC Global may construct more power plants, depending on the viability and business climate.

“We’re supposed to do more. We’re still evaluating the best option,” he said.

The two plants should start operating in the middle of 2015, Ang said.

He said there are no plans to borrow for the funding requirements for both projects.

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“The (funding) will be in-house. Madami kaming cash,” Ang said.

He also confirmed plans to revive the initial public offering (IPO) of SMC Global, possibly within the year. He said there is an interested investor who wants to come in.

“There’s really a very hot buyer who wants to invest in that business,” he noted.

He said SMC Global may sell as much as 49 percent, equivalent to $500 to $800 million.

In 2011, SMC Global filed an IPO application before corporate regulators. The power generation firm earlier planned to raise P24.7 billion P36.6 billion by selling between 348 million to 519.7 million primary and secondary shares in the local bourse.

However, the plan was put on hold at the time due to the sluggish market conditions.

SMC Global, which entered the power sector in 2009, owns and operates the Sual, Ilijan and San Roque power plants that generated a total of 15,250 gigawatt-hours of electricity in 2012.

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