Meralco mulls Myanmar, Thailand ventures
MANILA, Philippines - Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) has identified more countries in the ASEAN region for possible investments.
Meralco Chairman Manuel Pangilinan said they are looking to put up power plants in Myanmar and Thailand, “but nothing specific, definite at this stage.”
The Philippines’ biggest power distributor earlier was it was looking to invest in Vietnam. The company began exploring a possible partnership with EVN (VietNam Electricity). Pangilinan said the possible joint venture could sell power to the government.
“Generally, in Vietnam, our impression is you are given an offtake by the government through EVN. It’s a power company so the fuel is up to you to source,” said Pangilinan.
If a deal pushes through in Thailand, local authorities may supply the fuel source through its state-owned oil and gas company PTT, said Pangilinan.
He said sales are also likely to be guaranteed. “Generally, I'm not saying in all instances, the power producers are given an offtake.”
“The returns are not high because you are protected on both ends, on the fuel source and on the offtake. So your risks are basically execution on building the plant.”
Pangilinan said building a gas plant in Thailand is a possibility, and the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) could be an off-taker. “Could be, but nothing definite there.”
EGAT owns and manages most of Thailand’s electricity generation capacity. It also operates the country’s transmission network.
The Ministry of Energy is tasked with managing the state firm. Most of the electricity output from EGAT is sold to the Metropolitan Electricity Authority and the Provincial Electricity Authority. The two agencies are tasked with supplying the Bangkok region and the rest of Thailand.
Meralco President Oscar Lopez added that the firm’s plans for ventures abroad would “give Philippine players the opportunity to be recognized and accepted as a credible player overseas.” – Rappler.com