At the annual stockholders’ meeting of A Brown Company, Inc. (ABCI) on June 19, the publicly listed corporation made announcements on the current developments and future projects that it is looking into. The meeting was attended by ABCI stockholders, board directors, business associates, financial partners, and select employees. It was presided over by Dr. Walter W. Brown, Executive Chairman, along with ABCI President Robertino E. Pizarro and Executive Vice President Roel Z. Castro.

ABCI is a diversified holding company engaged in real estate development, agribusiness (palm oil plantation, milling and refinery), energy generation (coal, diesel, hydro and renewables) and resources (precious metals, oil and gas exploration). The company has generally focused on business interests in Mindanao, though the power and real estate segments have investments in other regions.

For its mixed-use, nature-themed, master-planned integrated communities, ABCI has established industry leadership in Northern Mindanao real estate. Its prime property is Xavier Estates in CDO, the region‘s pioneering high-end residential subdivision. Among the company’s other innovative properties in the high-end sector are Teakwood Hills in CDO, Coral Resort Estates in Misamis Oriental, Valencia Estates in Bukidnon, West Highlands in Butuan and East Cove Village in Rizal.

Growth opportunities

Recently, the company has been shifting its focus 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. 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 Cityand Malaybalay City), Rizal (Tanay),and Davao City (Toril). Additional socialized housing developments in other parts of Mindanao are being eyed.

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Ventura Residences
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Ventura Residences
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Ventura Residences
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Ventura Residences
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Ventura Residences
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Ventura Residences

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 just arrived from a trip to Bougainville this June.

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. 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 PeakpowerSoccsargen Inc. (PSI) in General Santos and the 5.2-MW Peakpower San Francisco, Inc. (PSFI) in Agusandel Sur are currently running at full capacity. A third plant, the 10.4-MW PeakpowerBukidnon, Inc. (PBI) is scheduled to begin operations by the first half of 2016. Future project plans include a 15-MW and a 5-MW expansion in General Santos and San Francisco, respectively.

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. These projects would be able to provide reliable and stable power at competitive prices to regions where electricity supply is inadequate, particularly in Mindanao where it is critical at this time.

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.

Opol Bulk Water Supply
Opol Bulk Water Supply

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 I 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.

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.” •

More photos during the Annual Stockholders Meeting below.

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photos by Vincent Tom Udasco

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