Wu in 12 China power projects

HOPEWELL Holdings has signed letters of intent for 12 power-plant projects in China with firm agreements expected by the end of the year, according to Hopewell managing director Gordon Wu Ying-sheung.

Mr Wu said the Chinese partners in the projects included provincial authorities from Guangxi, Jiangsu, Henan and Shanxi.

Over the next few months, Hopewell officials will make site visits and decide on the building costs.

Mr Wu announced the China deals yesterday at the signing ceremony for the finance package of the US$933 million Pagbilao thermal power station in the Philippines.

The Pagbilao package was put together by the International Finance Corp, the private finance arm of the World Bank.

Mr Wu expected the project - the biggest single foreign investment in the Philippines - to ease, but not eliminate, blackouts on the main island of Luzon when it began operation in 1995-96.

''We believe what the Philippines needs is a more concerted effort in putting in more and more [generating] units,'' Mr Wu said.

Participants in the loan include the IFC, the government import-export banks of Japan and the United States, Citibank, Bank of Tokyo and the Commonwealth Development Corp.

It was expected that the Asian Development Bank, would join the lending group in the near future, Hopewell said.