ABCI unveils 2015 prospects

June 26, 2015
06:15 AM

L-R: ABCI Directors Thomas Aquino and Annabelle Brown, Executive Chairman Dr. Walter Brown, President Robert Pizarro, Executive Vice President Roel Z. Castro, Chief Finance Officer Atty. Rosanne D. Santiago and Corporate Secretary Atty. Jason Nalupta at the Annual Stockholders’ Meeting in Cagayan De Oro

CAGAYAN DE ORO—At the 2015 stockholders’ meeting of A Brown Company, Inc. (ABCI) on June 19 at Xavier Sports & Country Club, the publicly listed corporation made announcements on the current developments and future projects that it is looking into. The meeting was presided over by Executive Chairman Dr. Walter W. Brown, along with ABCI President Robertino E. Pizarro and Executive Vice President Roel Z. Castro.

Growth opportunities

Recently, the company has shifted its focus from high-end real estate developments to middle income (economic) housing and socialized housing projects to take advantage of the 3-million supply backlog in these sectors. The first of these projects are Ventura Residences, St. Therese Subdivision, and Mountain View Homes in Balulang, CDO.

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ABCI’s Ventura Residences, Phase 5 of Xavier Estates

For 2015, ABCI is launching Simple Homes projects: Mountain View Homes expansion, Adelaida Residences, and Simple Holmes developments located in CDO, Butuan City (Brgy. Lumbo), Bukidnon (Valencia City and Malaybalay City), Rizal (Tanay), and Davao City (Toril). Additional socialized housing developments in other parts of Mindanao are being eyed.

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Mountain View Homes in mid-Balulang, Cagayan De Oro, one of ABCI’s latest projects in the socialized housing sector

During the stockholders’ meeting, Mr. Pizarro reported a five-year projected total contract price of PhP2.5 billion for ABCI’s upcoming socialized and economic housing projects.

In addition to this shift, Dr. Brown has revealed plans of expanding the company’s master-planning expertise overseas, upon receiving an invitation from the President of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville to develop projects in this territory. “We are currently studying this project seriously,” said Dr. Brown, who visited Bougainville earlier this month.

More expansion plans

A Brown Energy and Resources Development, Inc. (ABERDI) holds ABCI’s interests in the palm oil industry. ABERDI and its subsidiaries are active in palm oil nurseries, plantations, and milling. After encountering net losses in 2013 and delays with its expansion and diversification efforts in 2014, commercial operations have begun last May 2015 for ABERDI’s refinery with 60MT capacity per day.

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ABCI’s agribusiness unit, ABERDI. The palm oil group’s commercial operations have been on full capacity as of May 2015

The company has lined up possible cooperative ventures with suppliers of fresh fruit bunches and crude palm oil, for possible distribution of finished products. “We have experienced some delays in 2014, but we are confident that our expansion and diversification efforts will come into fruition this 2015,” says Mr. Pizarro, who is also the President of ABERDI.

ABCI’s power generation businesses are located in areas where there is a shortfall in supply, coupled with long-term off-take agreements. The 20.9-MW bunker-fired Peakpower Soccsargen Inc. (PSI) in General Santos and the 5.2-MW Peakpower San Francisco, Inc. (PSFI) in Agusan del Sur are currently running at full capacity. A third plant, the 10.4-MW Peakpower Bukidnon, Inc. (PBI) is scheduled to begin operations by the second half of 2016. Future project plans include a 15-MW and a 5-MW expansion in General Santos and San Francisco, respectively.

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The 20.9-MW bunker-fired plant Peakpower Soccsargen, Inc. in General Santos

Also slated to be fully operational come early 2016 is the first unit of the 2×135-MW coal-fired Palm Concepcion Power Corporation (PCPC) in Concepcion, Iloilo. “The project is in its advanced stage of construction, possibly two months ahead of its delivery schedules,” says Mr. Castro, who is also the President of ABCI’s power businesses. “Planning for PCPC’s second unit is also in the advanced phase.

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The construction works for coal-fired 2×135-MW Palm Concepcion Power Corporation are on full throttle

These projects would be able to provide reliable and stable power at competitive prices to regions where electricity supply is still inadequate.

Water works

ABCI is also developing Carac-an Hydroelectric Project, a 25-MW hydropower plant in Surigao del Sur, via its subsidiary, Hydro Link Projects Corp. The project’s feasibility study is expected to be completed this June.

ab bulk water company, inc. was formed in may 2015
AB Bulk Water Company, Inc. was formed in May 2015

Meanwhile in Opol, Misamis Oriental, ABCI has formed a new subsidiary that will engage in the bulk water distribution business, AB Bulk Water Company, Inc. (ABWCI). It will engage in the business of holding and providing rights to water to public utilities and cooperatives. The project is in partnership with the local government, aimed at addressing Opol’s needs for an independent water supply system. Opol has been dependent on CDO Water District but receives only 10% of its 8,000 cubic-meter daily requirement.

These reports were accompanied by a summary of ABCI’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives in and around the localities that house the company’s businesses.

The new projects and expansions for power and infrastructure would amount to P14.5 billion over the next 2-3 years. Mr. Castro has said that the projects will be financed through a combination of self-generated equity, joint ventures and partnerships, and financing.

Dr. Brown is optimistic of these prospects. “For our various projects, we have not only endeavored to address the economic needs of its stakeholders, but also to further give proper attention to the environmental, social and spiritual needs of the communities it is serving,” he says in a message to the stockholders. “We are confident that we will, with your support, accomplish much more and significantly contribute to the attainment of our objectives.”

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