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MRC Allied to seal deal on solar-power generation by year-end

MRC Allied Inc. said it is in talks with possible investors as the company hopes to venture into solar-power generation in Cebu.

The company said it is looking to put up a 60-megawatt (MW) capacity, hoping to seal a deal with its partner before the year ends.

Federico Prieto, MRC Allied corporate secretary, said the company is in discussions with potential investors that could help them speed up the setting up of the facility in its 160-hectare industrial estate in the city of Naga in Cebu province.

MRC Allied, formerly known as Makilala Rubber Corp., is talking to five parties and expects to close a deal with at least one of the potential partners by the end of the year or next year.

“We are now in the advanced stage of the talk; we’re into the polishing of the contract details,” Prieto said.

He declined to provide details on how much it will cost the company to put up the facility.

A rule of thumb in the industry is that a company spends $2.5 million per megawatt of power generated. That would mean it will cost MRC Allied $150 million to put up the solar farm.

Prieto said the plan is to connect the solar-power harvesting facility to the country’s power grid and enroll it under the government’s feed-in-tariff for renewable energy (RE) that currently stands at P9.68 per kilowatt-hour.

Prieto said construction of the facility may just take six months to one year upon signing of the contract with the partners.

At the moment, the principal asset of the company consists of two land banks.

Aside from Cebu, it also has 700 hectares of raw land in San Isidro, Leyte.

Located 35 kilometers away from the Mactan International Airport, the industrial estate in Naga City, known as the New Cebu Township One, is registered with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority as a special economic zone.

In May the company incorporated Menlo Renewable Energy Corp. to carry out its RE projects.

For the first three months of the year, the company incurred a wider loss of P9.45 million, wider than last year’s P6.41 million, partly as a result of its losses from operations.

“However, because of the debt- to-equity conversion in 2013 and 2012, and the equity restructuring in 2014 and 2013, it has reduced its deficit to P136.8 million, which resulted to a positive equity of P712.7 million as of December 31, 2014,” the company said.

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