AC Energy, Inc. has signed a shareholders’ agreement with its Vietnamese partner in wind energy development, initially committing to build 40 megawatts (MW) at a cost of around $92 million for completion in the first half of 2020 its parent firm said on Monday.
In a disclosure to the stock exchange, Ayala Corp. said its energy platform had signed the agreement with The Blue Circle Pte. Ltd. to jointly construct, own and operate the Mui Ne wind farm at the Binh Thuan province in the southeastern coast of Vietnam.
“Mui Ne project will be AC Energy’s first wind power project in Vietnam. AC Energy is very keen to participate in the fast-growing Vietnam power sector, with pioneering investments in renewable energy,” said Patrice Clausse, chief operating officer of AC Energy International Holdings Pte. Ltd.
The construction of the 40-MW first phase will start immediately at an estimated cost to be financed by debt and equity, the Ayala group said, adding that the wind farm has an expansion potential of up to 170 MW.
AC Energy accounts for more than 62% of the economic ownership including its 50% direct voting stake.
Project completion of the first phase is expected in the first half of next year, in time for the new wind feed-in-tariff deadline of November 2021, it added.
“We are delighted to partner with The Blue Circle, and this strategic partnership builds on our combined expertise, strong financing capabilities, and robust development pipeline,” Mr. Clausse said.
AC Energy quoted Olivier Duguet, The Blue Circle chief executive officer, as saying that after four years of development, permitting, and securing land, he was “very pleased” to start the construction of the Mui Ne wind project with the initial phase.
“The site has world class winds and will be equipped with the first 4MW turbines of Southeast Asia demonstrating the professionalism of The Blue Circle teams and our technology leadership,” Mr. Duguet said.
The project company awarded Vestas the supply and installation contract for 10 V150-4.2 MW wind turbines, as well as a 10-year AOM5000 energy-based service agreement, AC Energy said.
It said the Vestas V150-4.2 MW wind turbine is considered as one of the highest producing turbines in the industry and is thus expected to deliver a competitive cost of energy for the project.
AC Energy said it was scaling up its renewable energy investments and is an active participant in Vietnam’s renewable energy sector.
In November 2018, AC Energy through its subsidiary AC Energy International acquired a 25% ownership of The Blue Circle as well as co-investment rights in the latter’s projects. AC Energy and its partner will jointly develop, construct, own and operate The Blue Circle’s pipeline of around 2,000 MW of renewable energy projects across Southeast Asia, including 700 MW in Vietnam.
The Ayala company said its partner developed and constructed one of the first wind farms in Vietnam, Dam Nai JSC. AC Energy owns and operates the first wind farm in Southeast Asia, North Wind Power.
On Monday, shares in Ayala Corp. closed lower by 0.22% at P898 each. — Victor V. Saulon