MVP Group Takes Baby Steps in Vietnam Power Investment

Published on Tuesday, 30 October 2012 19:45
Written by Paul Anthony A. Isla / Reporter
UNCHARTED waters are making the group of businessman Manuel Pangilinan opt to take small steps as it bids to enter the Vietnam power industry.

Pangilinan in an interview told reporters that they would take modest steps in Vietnam and that they would initially take a significant minority in possible ties with Vietnam-based private power enterprises.

In explaining why they are taking a different approach in Vietnam, Pangilinan said the group does not have first-hand experience on how to operate businesses in Vietnam, particularly in the regulatory aspect.

“So it’s better to take certain baby steps first,” said Pangilinan, adding that he could not ascertain how long they would make these small steps.

He added that the numbers also got to work for them, and that they have not got any clue to what numbers will work as of the moment.

Pangilinan said most of the companies in Vietnam are involved in the power-generation sector, which already have projects in the pipeline.  These power projects range from a minimum of 150 megawatts (MW) to about 600 MW.

Pangilinan said these arrangements seem to be reasonable, because the power output is bought by the government, through state-controlled EVN (Vietnam Electricity).

The businessman said the group may also take a look at the oil and gas industry in Vietnam. “They seem to have gas fields in Vietnam. They might even have indigenous sources of gas as well,” he said.

Metro Pacific Investment Corp. (MPIC) is already developing an oil field in Vietnam through Pitkin, which is 27-percent owned by subsidiary Philex Petroleum Corp.

Pangilinan and his group recently met with the Philippine Business Group Vietnam (PBGV), in a forum co-organized by First Pacific Investment Corp. In their three-day business trip, Pangilinan and his group discussed with PBGV potential business ventures in that country.

MPIC and PLDT Communications and Energy Ventures, through its corporate vehicle Beacon Electric Assets Corp., own 48.02 percent of Manila Electric Co.

In January this year, Beacon increased its stake in Meralco to 48.02 percent from 45.36 percent when it acquired a 2.66-percent stake from the Lopezes. The sale to Beacon further diluted the Lopez family’s interest in Meralco to 3.9 percent.

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