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MRC set to develop 1,000-MW projects

As published on Manila Standard

Listed MRC Allied Inc. is diversifying into the energy sector and plans to develop at least 1,000 megawatts of clean and renewable energy over the next five years, an executive said over the weekend.

MRC Allied president Gladys Nalda said the power projects would require investments of about P80 billion to P100 billion over the five-year period.

“In line with our vision to be one of the major players in the Philippine power industry, we plan to develop at least 1,000 MW of clean and renewable energy by 2020. For this year, an aggregate of 160 MW solar capacity is in our pipeline” Nalda said.

The newly-appointed executive said the move to diversify to energy sector was prompted by the growing power demand, increasing renewable energy capacity targets, opportunities to acquire power plants and the steady decline in the investment cost of renewable energy technologies.

She said the company was also studying investing in liquefied natural gas projects and acquiring “orphaned” power project or those that were not granted feed-in tariff and were being sold at a “huge discount.”

“To achieve this goal [of 1,000 MW], we will endeavor to raise funds either on our own or with strategic partners. We will aggressively explore all available options to raise capital and finance our RE projects,” Nalda said.

The company plans to raise P1 billion via a private placement and another P1 billion from the issuance of preferred shares to partially fund the planned 100-MW Clark solar project and 60-MW Naga solar power project.

The Clark solar project in Clark Green City in Pampanga is estimated to cost P5 billion, while the Naga project in Naga City, Cebu will require P3 billion in investments.

Nalda said the company was in talks with prospective partners for the solar projects.

“Further, we will increase the par value of our common shares to a level more appropriate to the market in order to encourage the participation of institutional investors,” she said.

Menlo Capital, an investment house which counts as its shareholders businessman Benjamin Bitanga and Lucio Tan Jr., owns 52 percent of the company while the remaining shares are owned by the public.

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