SM group keen on power generation biz

Rappler.com
The SM Group wants to invest in the lucrative power generation sector but it has to study first if it is allowed

MANILA, Philippines – The SM Group is studying if it can venture into the lucrative power generation sector since a member of the Sy family already has a stake in the country’s transmission highway operator.

VIEW: INFOGRAPHIC: Top power players in the Philippines

The conglomerate, which controls the biggest mall network, bank, and real estate in the Philippines, wants to ensure there are no thorns that may arise when it pursues power generation projects.

“What we’re interested in is power generation…That’s the area that we want to resolve, so we will see,” he told reporters at the Economic Journalists of the Philippines briefing in August. He was asked about the possible conflict of interest if the SM Group proceeds with its power generation ventures given its affiliation with National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP).

Henry Sy, Jr, the son and namesake of the SM Group patriarch Henry Sy, Sr. heads NGCP.

“If there is that an investment opportunity, we will see if it is appropriate and we will see if it is legally feasible. What I’m saying is that these are the areas that were interested in,” Sio said.

He said if there are no legal hurdles or thorny issues, the SM Group can proceed with its investments this 2013 or in 2014.

Cross-ownership

The Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) has a cross-ownership provision that does not allow ownership between generation and transmission players.

The Sy Group has partnered with oil giant Chevron for possible geothermal projects nationwide such as Cebu, Bohol, Palawan and Mindanao.

The company’s APC Group also partnered with Chevron for a 100-megawatt geothermal power plant in Kalinga, Apayao, slated to be operational by early 2018.

The Department of Energy (DOE) is also studying the planned ventures of the SM Group in the Kalinga project to determine if there would be violations in the EPIRA. – Rappler.com

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