AYALA-LED AC Energy, Inc. has advanced by a year its plan to build new energy capacity in the Philippines as it expects energy supply and demand in the country to reach equilibrium by 2021, or earlier than its previous forecast of 2022.

“There will be equilibrium in 2021, one year earlier than what we originally expected,” Eric T. Francia, AC Energy president and chief executive officer, told reporters last week when asked to give an update on the company’s projects, including those outside the country.

“[It] doesn’t mean we want to build 1,000 megawatts (MW) [immediately]. We’ve always said a couple of 100 MW every year. You need to pace these things,” he added.

The change in the company’s energy supply projection comes after it sold some of its thermal assets and bought a company with subsidiaries involved in a range of energy projects using diverse energy sources.

“Today after the partial divestment of AA Thermal, [Inc.] and after the acquisition of Phinma Energy [Corp.], AC Energy group now has approximately 1,600 MW of attributable capacity. It decreased slightly from 1,700 MW same time last year,” Mr. Francia said.

The tally includes the company’s projects in the Southeast Asian region, but excludes deals that has yet to reach a financial close.

Including projects under construction, AC Energy’s energy capacity is 55% coal-fired power plants, 11% diesel-fired facilities and 34% renewable energy. Of the existing capacity, 74% are based in the Philippines and 26% in regional sites.

Up to 69% of the attributable capacity come from power plants that are operating, and 31% ongoing projects.

“Our renewables now is about 600 [MW] out of the 1,600 [MW],” Mr. Francia said. “We do expect to reach the 1,000 MW in the next 12 months.”

AC Energy previously set a goal of developing 1,000 MW of renewables by 2020, a target that he said would be reached or even exceeded by Ayala Corp.’s energy investment arm.

“We have significant projects in Australia, hopefully Vietnam and then Philippines, as well. Indonesia is still a question whether we can get significant renewable megawatts there in the near term,” Mr. Francia said.

“We also do have new markets that we’ll be opening up, so in due course we will be announcing where and what,” he added.

AC Energy has more than $1 billion of invested and committed equity in renewable and thermal energy in the Philippines and around the region. It aims to exceed 5 gigawatts of attributable capacity and generate at least 50% of energy from renewables by 2025.

With its acquisition of Phinma Energy, the company has also diversified into oil and gas exploration through Phinma Petroleum and Geothermal, Inc. (PPG).

PPG subsidiary Palawan55 Exploration & Production Corp. holds a 37.5% participating interest in the consortium and is the operator of Service Contract 55, a deep-water block in the southwest Palawan Basin.

“First, we would like the upstream [venture] to be developed. Having studied the oil and gas exploration potential in the Philippines, we think that sector is under-invested,” Mr. Francia said.

“We may be bringing in partners in the future,” he said, referring to PPG, which AC Energy has renamed ACE Enexor, Inc.

“I think the idea is over time, we will bring in a strategic partner, at least one strategic partner,” he said. “In all likelihood, it’s going to be foreign, who’s got experience, a big balance sheet, and expertise in oil and gas exploration.” — Victor V. Saulon