Vivant allots bulk of capex for wind, solar projects

Cebu-based publicly listed company Vivant Corp. expects to spend P30 billion for capital expenditure (capex) projects until 2027, the bulk of which would be set aside to achieve its target of reaching a 30-percent renewable energy (RE) portfolio by 2030.

“For the group, total capex to 2025-2026, maybe even 2027, will be around P30 billion. How we finance each project will be different, but that’s how the kind of capex we’ll be looking at,” said Vivant President Emil Andre Garcia during a virtual news briefing after the company’s stockholders’ meeting held Thursday.

Of the amount, P25 billion will be used to beef up its RE portfolio, mostly wind in Visayas and solar in Luzon.

“Most of the RE will be developed solely by Vivant. There may be one or two projects that we’ll be looking at partnerships, especially the wind projects we’re looking at since these are more technically challenging,” said Garcia.

The company is currently in talks with local and foreign potential partners for wind power projects and deals could be finalized within the year.

“Aside from wind, we’re looking at something that would be 100 percent owned by the company. We have some projects in the pipeline that we expect either acquisition by next year or some solar projects that we can hit completion by next year as well.”

Also, Vivant is interested to bid for hybrid plants for off-grid areas. “For the hybrid plants, we’re looking at joining more bidding…It’s now best for a mix of conventional, batteries and solar, or possibly wind, but most likely solar. It will be for future off-grid plants,” said Garcia.

Vivant Vice President for Infrastructure Jess Anthony Garcia said the remaining P5 billion of the total capex will be spent for infrastructure projects.

“For infra, most of our initiatives right now are concentrated in water. We’d like to be present in the different segments of the industry, namely bulk water supply, water distribution, waste water and water engineering. We are also looking at transport but the initiatives are very preliminary now.”

Vivant had been awarded a 25-year bulk water supply contract by the Metropolitan Cebu Water District following a successful bid for the Cordova bulk water supply project. Garcia said the P1.8-billion desalination plant in Cebu will be ready for commercial operations next year.

Vivant Chief Executive Officer Arlo Sarmiento said the power business would still be a major contributor to the company’s growth.

“By 2030, we will still be primarily driven by Vivant Energy although infra will grow. We will still primarily be a power company, or most of our revenues will be generated by power.

By then, we hope the infra business would have increased contributions.  Personally, I would like to see 80-20 if possible, 80 (percent) power, 20 (percent) infra, primarily water in 2030,” he said.

Vivant reported a net income of P1.8 billion in 2021, an increase of 23 percent over 2020’s P1.4 billion. The increase is attributed to improved performance of subsidiaries, particularly in power, amid better generation output and increased business activities.

The company expects an increase in demand for energy solutions, particularly rooftop solar, as more consumers see the need to better manage their energy-related costs.

Garcia said that while the damage caused by super typhoon Odette dampened Visayan Electric’s performance in the first quarter of 2022, the prolonged outage due to damaged power infrastructure has raised awareness on the benefits of solar energy.