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AC Energy plans to focus on renewables, peaking plants

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By Victor V. Saulon, Sub-editor

AC Energy Philippines, Inc. targets to build around 1,300 megawatts (MW) of power generation plants by end-2020, or about three times the size of the company’s installed capacity before the Ayalas’ energy arm bought the former Phinma Energy Corp. last year.

“We’ll be focusing a lot on renewables and peaking plants,” Eric T. Francia, president and chief executive officer of AC Energy Philippines said in a briefing at the company’s head office in Makati City.

The Ayalas’ energy arm in the country previously announced greenfield or new power plant projects in Alaminos, Laguna at 120 MW, and 60 MW in Palauig, Zambales. An affiliate property company has land in Alaminos where a solar farm can be put up.

The target capacity is apart from that of the company’s parent firm — Ayala Corp. subsidiary AC Energy, Inc. — which has a unit for power development projects outside the Philippines.

“We are going to issue the ‘notice to proceed’ very soon but we’ve already disclosed the board approval for the investment in these two solar projects and one peaking project in Pililia, the 150 MW peaking plant,” he said.

In October, the company disclosed that it was looking at term loan facilities for up to P15 billion and that its board of directors were studying a number of projects. These are investments in greenfield power development, namely: a solar farm in Alaminos, Laguna, and a diesel power project in Pililla, Rizal.

“We’ll start with the 150 MW [and] 300 MW eventually,” Mr. Francia said about the Pililia diesel-powered plant.

He said the project started its construction phase and is expected to be completed by end-2020.

“Before we acquired Phinma Energy, [it] had 430 MW of attributable capacity,” he said, referring to the acquired company’s share in megawatts in the projects it had partnered with other investors.

In November, AC Energy Philippines said its board had ratified the executive committee’s plan to enter into a share purchase agreement with the Philippine Investment Alliance for Infrastructure (PINAI) fund for the acquisition of the latter’s ownership interest in Philippine Wind Holdings Corp., the parent company of North Luzon Renewables Energy Corp.

North Luzon Renewables owns and operates an 81-MW wind farm in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte. PINAI is a fund composed of Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings (Philippines) Pte. Ltd., Langoer Investments Holding B.V., and the Government Service Insurance System.

The board also approved the purchase of up to 100% of PINAI fund’s ownership interest in San Carlos Solar Energy, Inc. (Sacasol), which owns and operates a 45-megawatt (MW) solar farm in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental. The solar farm is operating under the feed-in-tariff (FiT) regime.

Also approved was the acquisition of up to 100% of PINAI fund’s ownership interest in Negros Island Solar Power, Inc. (Islasol), which owns and operates an 80-MW solar farm in Negros Occidental.

On Monday, AC Energy Philippines signed a share purchase agreement with PINAI to buy its full ownership interest in Islasol.

Mr. Francia said the company is in the process of signing a similar agreement for the other energy projects.





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