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AC Energy to invest $1B for RE ventures

AC Energy Inc. is set to make a “massive investment” of about $1 billion in the coming year primarily to scale up its renewable energy (RE) portfolio here and abroad, its top official said.

“We’re looking to build over 1,500 megawatts (MW) of attributable capacity to AC Energy for financial close by 2020. That’s where we’ll deploy the billion dollars,” AC Energy President and Chief Executive Officer Eric Francia said.

AC Energy intends to infuse the $1 billion allotted for RE ventures in its three major markets composed of Australia, Vietnam and the Philippines as well as other countries including India and Myanmar. “A fourth will be Philippines, a fourth Australia, a fourth Vietnam, [and] a fourth India and Myanmar,” Francia told reporters.

According to the AC Energy executive, the renewable plants in the pipeline will commence construction in 2020. Completion will take a year except for Australia, which will take longer due to “labor restrictions.”

AC Energy is looking at solar and pump hydro plants in Australia while in Vietnam, it’s mostly wind facilities in time for the Vietnamese government’s feed-in tariff deadline of November 2021 deadline.

For India, it’s mostly solar and then minigrids for Myanmar, said Francia, adding the company would concentrate in building solar and diesel peaking facilities come 2020.

“Next year will be a significant, a massive investment year for AC Energy as a group kasi (because) this year, we raised a lot of funds. We sold down AA Thermal [Inc.] and we went to the market twice. And then we also are doing stock rights offering at the AC Energy Philippines level,” he added.

AC Energy, he said, managed to raise around $1.5 billion after selling its thermal platform AA Thermal to AboitizPower Corp. for $572.9 million.

The Ayala Group’s power business also raised $225 million from its inaugural dollar-denominated senior green bond issuance in January and launched $400 million worth of US dollar-denominated senior perpetual fixed-for-life (non-deferrable) green bonds last month, a first in the world.

AC Energy is the energy platform of Ayala, one of the largest business groups in the Philippines. It is one of the fastest growing energy companies with over $1 billion of invested and committed equity in renewable and thermal energy in the Philippines and around the region.

The company aspires to exceed 5 gigawatts of attributable capacity and generate at least 50 percent of energy output from renewables by 2025.

As of end-November, AC Energy had a net attributable capacity of over 1,600 MW, of which 600 MW is from renewable sources.

Ayala shares slid by P2 or 0.24 percent to end at P828 apiece on Friday.

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