By Angelica Y. Yang

ALCANTARA-LED Alsons Consolidated Resources, Inc. (ACR) has earmarked around P6.54 billion as capital expenditures (capex) for four projects under development, including three hydro plants, the listed firm said over the weekend.

ACR, which claims to be the first private sector power generator in Mindanao, has an aggregate installed capacity of 468 megawatts (MW).

“Capex in 2021 specifically allotted to projects under development is around P6.54 billion. This would cover the prospective (105-MW) San Ramon Power, Inc. (SRPI) baseload thermal plant in Zamboanga City and three of our prospective hydroelectric power plants,” ACR Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Tirso G. Santillan, Jr. was quoted as saying via e-mail.

These planned hydro plants, he said, include the 14.6-MW run-of-river Siguil hydro plant, which is under construction in the Sarangani province; the 22-MW Siayan (Sindangan) hydro plant in Zamboanga del Norte; and the 42-MW Bago Hydro plant in Negros Occidental.

Mr. Santillan said that the Siguil hydro plant is targeted to begin commercial operations next year, while the SRPI thermal plant is targeted to go online by 2024.

The listed firm said that it planned to focus on ramping up its hydro facilities in the coming years. “For the long term, we are slated to focus on renewables with seven more run-of- river hydroelectric plants in our pipeline. Once completed and operational, these hydro power plants will comprise the bulk of the company’s power facilities,” Mr. Santillan said.

Once ACR’s first three hydro plants are operating, earnings from the listed firm’s RE facilities are expected to take up 35% of ACR’s profits, he said.

“In the long term, when all eight hydro plants are operating, we project that renewable energy (RE) contribution to ACR earnings will be around 45%,” Mr. Santillan said.

In September, Alsons issued P1 billion worth of commercial papers, the proceeds of which would go to finance eight of its renewable power projects in the pipeline.

Last week, local debt watcher Philippine Rating Services Corp. (PhilRatings) issued a “PRS A+” issuer credit rating with a stable outlook” to ACR for the first tranche of its commercial papers program this year. It earlier announced that it would issue P3 billion in short-term commercial papers, which would be issued in one or more tranches.

According to PhilRatings, a PRS A+ credit rating is an assessment that shows the company’s above-average capacity to meet its financial commitments relative to other firms. A “stable outlook” is given when a rating is likely to be maintained or to remain unchanged in the next 12 months.

Shares in ACR on Friday were unchanged at P1.29 apiece.