These investment inquiries include coal-fired power plants, Mindanao farming expansion projects, Nickel mining in Surigao and Palawan and DTI’s Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) program.
On March 1, Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, together with Transportation Secretary Aurthur P. Tugade and Philippine Ambassador Designate Jose Laurel V met with the major trading houses — Mitsubishi Corp., Mitsui and Co., Ltd., Sumitomo Corp., Itochu Corp., Marubeni Corp., Toyota Tsusho, and Sojitz.
According to DTI, Marubeni is willing to invest P75 billion in additional coal power plants over the medium term.
Itochu and Sumitomo, through the Department of Labor and Employment and Sumifru (Philippines) Corp., are willing to invest P12.9 billion until 2018 in expanding their integrated farming projects in Mindanao.
Sumitomo, Sojitz, and Mitsui, will be jointly investing P80 billion in Coral Bay Nickel Corp. and Taganito High Pressure Acid Leaching Nickel Corp. in Surigao and Palawan.
Groups with car operations like Mitsubishi, Sojitz, Mitsui, and Toyota Tsusho are also participating in DTI’s CARS program, which aims to raise local automobile manufacturing in order to expand the country’s production of car parts.
All seven trading houses have expressed interest in engaging in the country’s “Golden Age of Infrastructure,” particularly projects in railways and subways, airport development projects, the Clark Green City Project and the Expanded Port and Roll On Roll Off Building Programs.
“Through sound and consistent macroeconomic policies, the country continues to attract serious investments,” Mr. Lopez said in a statement.
He said that strong fundamentals such as robust economic growth, increasing population, current trade agreements and a skilled young work force, “plus political will and focused trade and investment policies” serve as a “magnet for foreign investments.
GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Consortium (GMCAC), which bagged the country’s first airport public-private partnership (PPP) project, said it wants “transparency and fair play for all unsolicited proposals.”
GMCAC president Manuel Louie Ferrer said they asked the DOTr last week to clarify why their unsolicited proposal was abandoned, when it was a “complete, original” proposal submitted months ahead that of the Filinvest-JG Summit consortium’s P187-billion proposal.
Ferrer revealed that in August last year, GMCAC met with transportation officials to present its Clark airport proposal. He said that in that meeting, the DOTr informed the consortium that Filinvest submitted a brief proposal after GMCAC.
Since only a construction deal for a budget terminal was approved by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board during the previous administration, GMCAC stood firm that its “comprehensive 50-year master plan” is original and therefore should be granted the original proponent status.
“We are confident that our proposal complied with the BOT law requirements. We believe we should be granted original proponent status,” Ferrer replied when asked for comment.
Last March 2, Transportation Undersecretary for Aviation Roberto Lim said the DOTr is reviewing the Filinvest-JG Summit proposal to improve the Clark airport’s facillities, boost its capacity in 5 phases to up to 36 million passengers per annum (mppa), as well as operate and maintain the airport.
He said the Filinvest-JG Summit group submitted its proposal in January 2017.
Lim also confirmed that GMCAC, the current operator of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA), submitted a similar proposal in July 2016 but it was “discontinued” because it was at a time when the government was not yet open to accepting unsolicited proposals for the Clark airport.
The law states that the second complete proposal can be considered if there is a failure in the negotiation of the first proposal.
“It looks like the department may have overlooked this provision in the law,” Ferrer said.
On the sidelines of a conference in Mandaluyong City on Monday, March 13, Lim was sought for comment on the issue but declined, citing the passage of Executive Order No. 14, reverting Clark International Airport Corporation to the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA).
Instead, the DOTr issued a statement, saying it is presently reviewing all proposals on all airports and will be submitting them to the NEDA-Investment Coordination Committee (ICC) at the soonest possible time.
Asked if GMCAC’s proposal on Clark airport is included, Lim replied: “Yes.”
But when PPP Center Executive Director Ferdinand Pecson was asked, he replied that his group has only reviewed Filinvest-JG Summit’s proposal.
“I haven’t encountered Megawide’s proposal. If they have, then hindi pa nakarating sa ‘kin (then it has not reached my desk yet),” Pecson said on the sidelines of the conference.
“PPP Center is only tasked to check the completeness and eligibility of unsolicited proposals. It is the implementing agency who will grant the original proponent status,” he added.
The Filinvest-Changi consortium also lost to the GMR-Megawide consortium in the auction for the P17.5-billion MCIA contract.
Megawide has won 5 of 11 awarded PPP deals since the administration of former president Benigno Aquino III.
Its other projects are the first phase of the PPP for School Infrastructure Project (PSIP), PSIP’s second phase, and the terminated Philippine Orthopedic Center modernization project.
Ferrer had said the firm is interested in more PPP projects.
These include the Regional Prison Facilities and the P108.19 billion ($2.40 billion) worth of deals to develop, operate, and maintain 5 regional airports. – Rappler.com
By Victor V. Saulon
Posted on March 14, 2017
The Department of Energy (DoE) said dependable capacity as of last year reached 19,097 MW, or 89% of the total installed capacity, and slightly better than the previous year’s 88%.
However, this is far from showing the overall efficiency of the country’s power plants, said DoE Assistant Secretary Gerardo D. Erguiza, Jr.
He said some of the power plants had declared a derating of their capacity, thus showing minimal discrepancy with what they are producing and what they are expected to deliver.
“Their average performance has already been incorporated in their derating,” Mr. Erguiza said in Filipino.
He cited Sem-Calaca Power Corp., which should be delivering an average of 600 MW but was producing only about 400 MW.
He said the plant had “cured” its inefficiency by declaring its capacity at only 400 MW and was delivering around 400-480 MW.
Based on DoE data, Sem-Calaca’s two-unit pulverized sub-critical coal plant in Calaca, Batangas has an installed capacity of 600 MW, of which 526 MW are dependable. The plant started commercial operation in September 1984.
Sem-Calaca’s unit one is among those that went down at the same time that the Malampaya natural gas facility was on a scheduled maintenance shutdown from Jan. 28 to Feb. 16, 2017.
The Kalayaan pumped storage power plant in Kalayaan, Laguna is another example of a plant whose output is way below its rated capacity, Mr. Erguiza said.
The plant, operated by CBK Power Co. Ltd., has an installed and dependable capacity of 739.2 MW and 720 MW, respectively.
Mr. Erguiza said the Kalayaan plant serves to provide “frequency regulating reserve” or the operating requirement to maintain a balance between the available power capacity and the system’s demand because of small variations during normal operations.
“It’s not really meant to deliver that full capacity,” he said, adding that the plant produces only around 300-400 MW, which has become its derated capacity.
He said the derated capacity should be deducted further from the plant’s dependable capacity, which the DoE data do not show.
A closer look at available statistics shows the list of existing plants to include those built in the 1940s and 1950s, the efficiency of which has eroded through the years.
Luzon is home to two of these plants — the Caliraya dam-type hydroelectric power plant (HEPP) and the Botocon run-of-river type HEPP, both in Lumban, Laguna and operated by CBK Power. The plants were commissioned in the early to mid-1940s.
Mr. Erguiza said the older plants have been performing well based on their derated capacity. But they risk simultaneously tripping and cause power failure. He cited natural gas-powered plants as well as geothermal facilities as showing good performance in terms of efficiency.
Based on the DoE statistics, coal-fired power plants accounted for 34.6% of the total installed capacity as of last year, an expansion compared with their 31.5% share in 2015. Renewables accounted for 32.5%, down from 33.9% previously.
The share of oil-fired plants thinned to 16.9% from 19.3%, while that of natural gas-powered facilities widened to 16% from 15.3%.
Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi has been declaring that his department is technology-neutral as to the types of power plants it will approved as long as they meet the system’s requirement of 70% baseload, 20% mid-merit and 10% peaking power.
His wishlist includes the development of more indigenous sources of electricity to do away with more expensive oil, which the country largely imports.
As of 2016, foreign oil suppliers billed the country a total of $7.45 billion, down 13.5% from $8.61 billion in 2015. Of the total, finished products accounted for 55.4% and crude oil made up 44.6%.
“This was attributed to lower import cost (for both crude and petroleum products) although petroleum product import volume increased,” the DoE said.
In terms of volume, the country increased its crude oil import by 0.9% to 78.77 million barrels. It also increased its petroleum product imports by 12.9% to 86.11 million barrels.
In contrast, the Philippines’ petroleum export earnings fell by 23.2% to $675 million because of decreased volume of crude exported and lower freight on board price per barrel.
The overall 2016 net oil import bill amounted to $6.78 billion, down 12.4% from $7.73 billion in 2015.
“We need to resubmit to DPWH because we submitted it before to the TRB (Toll Regulatory Board). The decision of TRB is to process it through DPWH,” he said.
He said the proposal has a preliminary value of P50 billion and would cover 20-kilometers.
“It will be from Segment 8.2 going to Commonwealth, from that area going South,” he said.
The project could be implemented over a period of four years.
“The objective is to connect C-5 to CAVITEX (Manila-Cavite Expressway),” Franco said.
MPIC currently operates the CAVITEX, as well as other tollways such as the North Luzon Expressway and the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway.
The infrastructure conglomerate is undertaking other toll road projects such as the Cavite-Laguna Expressway and Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway.
Aside from tollways, MPIC is involved in rail, water, power, hospitals and logistics.
The cause of a car crash can be different from the cause of death, he said. During a workshop of the Department of Transportation’s Road Safety Idea Hack event on Monday, March 13, Smith explained how infrastructure is important in preventing serious accidents and deaths resulting from road crashes.
iRAP is an organization that inspects high-risk roads, rating them for their safety design features and identifying what countermeasures can be developed to help make these roads safer for motorists, cyclists, and pedestrians.
Its Star Ratings system is based on road inspection data. Roads rated 5 stars are considered the safest roads while those with 1 star are the least safe.
In the Philippines, iRAP has surveyed 6,000 km of roads, collecting data and assigning star ratings that provide a measure of the level of safety of the roads for vehicle occupants, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians.
It then makes recommendations to improve the safety level of these high-risk roads, working with government to implement these suggestions.
This system has seen tangible results. Smith cited the case of the Agoo-Baguio City road, which was considered a very high-risk road for all types of road users for every 100-meter section.
Between July and November 2015, the Department of Public Works and Highways implemented two packages of road improvement works, such as the installation of safety signages, adding concrete barriers on curve sections and ravine, and constructing concrete road shoulders, among others.
Following the implementation of these safety measures, the road garnered a 3-star rating, an improvement from its previous 1-star rating.
While changing the design of the road can greatly reduce the risk of death or injury, Smith said that enforcement of road safety measures – such as the strict implementation of seatbelt use – is also a critical part in changing user behavior. – Rappler.com
Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said China has shown interest in funding the NSRP, the extension of the North-South Commuter Railway Project (NSCR) which will run from Malolos, Bulacan to Tutuban, Manila. The ¥242-billion NSCR is funded by official development assistance (ODA) loan extended by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and is scheduled to begin construction within the first semester of 2019.
Other projects pipelined for loan financing are the following: Rehabilitation and Improvement of the Zamboanga Fish Port Complex, Mindanao Railway, Nationwide Fish Ports Project- Package III, Ilocos Norte Irrigation Project, Regional Fish Port Project for Greater Capital Region, Gregorio del Pilar Impounding Project, Tumauini River Multipurpose Project, Panay River Basin Integrated Development Project, Asbang Small Reservoir Irrigation Project, Bohol Northeast Basin Multipurpose Dam Project, Subic-Clark Railway Project and the BGC-Ninoy Aquino International Airport segment of the Metro Manila Bus Rapid-EDSA Project.
All counters were up, led by holding firms, which firmed up by 1.9 percent due to SM’s rebound.
SM bounced by 7.76 percent to close at P645.50. To recall, SM slid by 9.24 percent last Friday as fund managers scrambled to realign their portfolios ahead of the main index rebalancing.
Starting March 13, SM’s weight in the PSEi had been reduced by 0.51 percent along with the removal of Emperador to accommodate the inclusion of Puregold with a 1-percent weight in the index.
Apart from SM’s rebound, the upswing in the local market also reflected mostly firmer regional markets.
“After much market drama, another rate increase from the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) now looks like a foregone conclusion when the committee members meet later this week. This information is already being discounted into the market,” said Luis Gerardo Limlingan, managing director at Regina Capital Development.
He also noted that US non-farm payrolls increased by 235,000 in February, moderately above consensus expectations. US jobless ratio also edged down to 4.7 percent, one tenth below Fed officials’ estimates, he added.
At the local market on Monday, the mining/oil counter was also up by 1.04 percent.
Value turnover for the day amounted to P6.46 billion. Domestic investors made up for the slack in foreign risk-taking.
Market breadth was neutral. Advancers equaled decliners in number, with 94 each.
Apart from SM, the PSEi was led higher by Semirara which rose by 2.44 percent while AGI, BDO, URC, Metrobank, ALI and Globe Telecom all advanced by over 1 percent.
Security Bank, SM Prime, MPI and JG Summit also contributed to the PSEi’s gains.