SN Aboitiz Power-Benguet Inc. (SNAP-Benguet), which is a subsidiary company of Aboitiz Power Corporation in a tie-up with Norwegian firm SN Power, has secured P18 billion unsecured notes facility from two local banks, and it utilized the proceeds to prepay loans for its hydropower facility acquisitions.

Aboitiz Power disclosed to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) that the lender-banks have been BDO Unibank Inc. and Bank of the Philippine Islands.

Its refinanced financial obligation primarily covered the US-dollar denominated loans secured with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Nordic Investment Bank, BDO and the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) way back in 2007 for SNAP’s purchase of the 175-megawatt Ambuklao-Binga hydroelectric power plant.

The acquisition of the facility, when it was sold 13 years ago by state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation (PSALM), had been at US$325 million, which was SNAP-Benguet Inc.’s winning offer in the asset divestment auction.

Beyond the amount that the company will be needing for loan refinancing, SNAP-Benguet indicated that “the remaining proceeds after prepayment will be used to fund (its) general corporate requirements.”

The Ambuklao-Binga facility had just been one of the hydropower assets cornered by the Aboitiz-SN Power joint venture from the privatization program of PSALM – the other one is the 388MW Magat hydroelectric facility.

Onward, the company is advancing the development of the integrated Alimit hydropower project that may yield 390 megawatts of additional capacity for the grid; and may bring in gigantic investment of US$1.0 billion.

The sponsor-firm already worked on warranted permits from its host communities and other relevant government agencies; but it has yet to announce firm timelines on the actual construction of the project.

The hydropower venture will cover the proposed 120MW Alimit installation; the 20MW Olilicon plant; and the proposed 250MW Alimit pumped storage facility.

The company is likewise pursuing floating solar developments – the preliminary project was piloted at its Magat facility in 2019.

Source: Manila Bulletin (