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Naga plant rehab, other projects keep Aboitiz units busy

Naga Power Plant Complex is undergoing rehabilitation by Aboitiz subsidiary Therma Power Visayas, Inc. (Photo from Aboitiz[

AboitizPower subsidiary Therma Power Visayas, Inc. (TPVI) targets to complete the rehabilitation of the 153-megawatt Naga Power Plant Complex by late 2020, the Aboitiz Group said in a statement.

TPVI, which owns and manages the plant complex, is rehabilitating six bunker C-fed power generating units within the facility.

The Aboitiz-led company took over the Naga complex in July 2018, four years after it was declared the winning bidder and awarded the contract to purchase the facility for P1.088 billion.

TPVI, however, was not immediately able to take over the power plant’s operations because SPC Power Corp. exercised its right to top the winning bid. The facility was turned over to SPC in September 2014.

But a year later, in September 2015, the Supreme Court upheld the validity of the award of the facility to TPVI.

The Naga power plant rehabilitation is among the projects that Aboitiz business units in Cebu are undertaking.

In a statement, the Aboitiz Group said it was optimistic that its Cebu-based business units will perform strongly in 2019 on the back of these innovation projects.

Another project, still in the power industry, is the installation of an underground distribution system (UDS) for the Visayan Electric Co., Inc. (VECO), the second biggest privately-held distribution utility in the country.

VECO aims to complete this year the 890-meter phase 3 of its UDS in Cebu City, in a bid to get rid of the unsightly tangle of overhead wires and cables.

The project also aims to reduce outages and operational costs caused by vegetation, and increase VECO’s overall customer reliability.

VECO also aims to achieve 100% emergency response within 30 minutes, 100% restoration time within one hour, and increase by 50% same-day connections and reconnections.

Phase 1 of UDS covered the area from the Cebu Provincial Capitol site to Fuente Osmeña while Phase 2 covered Fuente Osmeña down to P. del Rosario Street.

“AboitizPower expects that its existing distribution utilities will continue to realize modest growth. It continuously seeks efficiency and improvements in its distribution utilities’ operations in order to maintain healthy margins,” Jaime Jose Y. Aboitiz, AboitizPower executive vice president and chief operating officer (EVP and COO)-Distribution Business Group said in the same statement.

In power generation, Therma Visayas, Inc. (TVI) targets to commission in May the second unit of its 340-MW baseload coal plant in Toledo City. The first unit was commissioned last April 6. Each unit has an installed capacity of 170 MW (net 150 MW).

Other Aboitiz units in Cebu are also in for a busy 2019.

CitySavings, the thrift arm of Aboitiz banking and financial services BU UnionBank, will venture this year into bancassurance with Insular Life and begin offering motorcycle loans and loans for pensioners, seafarers, and overseas Filipino workers.

These new facilities are on top of the bank’s flagship teacher’s salary loan product.

CitySavings, which acquired Philippine Resources (PR) Savings Bank, has also signed a purchase agreement with Batangas-based Bangko Kabayan.

Meanwhile, Aboitiz & Co.’s privately-held construction arm Aboitiz Construction, Inc. and its international arm Aboitiz Construction International, Inc. have announced a need for 4,000 more workers to meet job orders and contracted projects in the next three to five years.

The company hired more than 6,000 workers in 2018. (Ventures Cebu with PR)

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