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AC Energy builds two new solar plants in Luzon

AC Energy Inc., the power unit of the Ayala Group, will build two new solar plants in Central Luzon as it continues to expand its renewable energy portfolio.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange yesterday, ACEN said the two projects, with a combined cost of about P6.2 billion, would have an aggregate capacity of up to 150 megawatts (MW).

One project will involve a 75-MW facility located in Arayat and Mexico towns in Pampanga, costing up to P3.3 billion.

“The facility is expected to start its power generation in the fourth quarter of 2021, and is ACEN’s joint venture with Citicore Renewable Energy Corp., with a 50 percent economic ownership,” ACEN said.

The company is also set to develop a fully owned solar plant in Palauig, Zambales, also with a capacity of up to 75 MW.

Expected project cost will be up to P2.9 billion and is expected to reach completion in the first quarter of 2022.

“It will be in close proximity to the 60-MW GigaSol Palauig solar plant, which was announced by the company early this year and is currently under construction,”ACEN said.

The addition of the two new solar plants will bring ACEN’s total Philippine projects under construction to 480 MW, which include 330 MW of solar and 150 MW of peaking diesel plants.

“While we are facing significant challenges amid the current crisis, ACEN remains committed to investing in the country and drive renewables expansion,” said Eric Francia, ACEN president and chief executive officer.

“We take the long view when investing, and we also recognize that investments are very much needed urgently to help reignite the economy and create jobs. This is the true meaning of sustainable investing,” Francia said.

ACEN is aiming to be the largest listed renewables platform in Southeast Asia, with the goal of reaching 5,000 MW of renewable capacity by 2025.

The company said earlier that it is committed to scale up its renewable energy expansion in the region and has identified the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Australia, India and Myanmar as key target markets.

Last month, the company announced it is also developing the 140-MW Sitara solar plant in India under UPC-AC Energy Solar, a 50-50 joint venture with UPC Solar Asia Pacific. The project is ACEN’s first major investment in India.

ACEN reported a net profit of P1.96 billion in the first half of the year, a significant turnaround from a P552-million net loss last year as it completed its restructuring program after it acquired Phinma Energy Corp.

The company attributed the strong performance to the successful infusion of ACEN’s on-shore assets and recent acquisitions since the Ayala Group acquired Phinma Energy from the Del Rosario family for P6.3 billion last year.

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