By Myrna M. Velasco
For its first offshore market on energy, Aboitiz Power Corporation disclosed that it will be expanding on investments for wind and solar power projects in Vietnam.
Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV) President and CEO Erramon I. Aboitiz said “we are looking at solar and wind…right now, we’re really focusing more on Vietnam because they have their FIT (feed-in-tariff).”
The Aboitiz group’s shift to Southeast Asian regional market will be a milestone development – along with the scheduled leadership changeover that will happen at Aboitiz Power by January next year.
Aboitiz confirmed to the media the appointment of Emmanuel “Manny” V. Rubio as the next president and CEO of Aboitiz Power at the starting month of 2020 – an executive who already spent 12 years in the conglomerate’s power business segment and who is currently the Executive Vice President (EVP) and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the company.
Aboitiz announced that the board of directors of the company “unanimously approved the appointment of Manny Rubio as President and CEO effective January 1, 2020. Manny will replace me upon my retirement effective December 31, 2019.”
Before he joined Aboitiz Power, Rubio worked with Consolidated Industrial Gases Inc. (CIGI) – Philippine subsidiary; where he had been delegated in various capacities. And prior to getting elevated at Aboitiz Power, he was president of SN Aboitiz Power Inc. the group’s joint venture with Norwegian firm SN Power.
The implementations of FIT system for RE technology developments in Vietnam have multi-tiered timelines – with the initial FIT for solar winding up June this year; and the next ones will come after that.
For wind, timelines on FIT incentives have also been set – including one that will conclude around October of 2020 and the next phase will be expiring in 2021.
Aboitiz qualified “we are looking at several projects that are on advanced stages, so hopefully we will be able to announce projects soon,” adding that the timeline will not necessarily be dependent on his well-anticipated retirement at the end of this year.
The strategy of the Aboitiz group, he said, will be to tie-up with a Vietnamese company – because that is the viable set-up in that particular market.
And for the megawatt-installations, the feasible capacity he said is between 50 to 100 megawatts for solar or even higher – and Aboitiz Power could position itself as a “significant minority” or depending on the agreement that it would be able to firm up with a prospective partner.
“The chances are – it will take time to build because some of them are in the process of securing permits – EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) contracts, so they are at different stages, but hopefully we would be able to announce something soon,” he stressed.