AC Energy sells down thermal platform to boost renewables

(L-R) The MonteSol solar farm in Bais, Negros Oriental and the Sidrap wind farm in South Sulawesi, Indonesia.

On September 26, AC Energy and AboitizPower entered into a share purchase agreement for the proposed partial acquisition on AC Energy’s thermal portfolio.

“We are delighted to further strengthen our partnership with the Aboitiz group and we look forward to jointly pursue more opportunities in the future,” according to AC Energy President and CEO Eric T. Francia. “This transaction enables AC Energy to balance its portfolio and provides capital for our growth initiatives, including our renewable energy projects.”

The partial sell-down, which includes the GNPower Mariveles and GNPower Dinginin assets, represents approximately 35% of AC Energy’s attributable capacity in thermal. AC Energy remains to have 51% of voting shares on both assets.

This is the sixth-largest domestic merger-and-acquisition deal, and the fourth biggest in the local energy sector over the past three years, data from Thomson Reuters showed.

Growing our renewables

The deal will enable the expansion of AC Energy’s domestic and offshore renewable energy businesses with a balanced portfolio in renewable and thermal energy.

The company aspires to develop 5 GW of attributable capacity and generate at least fifty percent of energy from renewables by 2025.

With AC Energy’s energy mix post sell-down at around 800 MW in thermal energy and 400 MW in renewables, Francia noted the need to scale up the company’s renewables if they are to exceed their 2025 goal. “While we will continue to develop projects in the Philippines, a lot of that incremental growth in renewables will have to come through international expansion.”

As countries around the region begin to adopt more favorable policies towards renewable energy, AC Energy has identified the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam as the key markets in their regional expansion strategy.

In 2018 alone, AC Energy has partnered with the BIM Group of Vietnam to develop over 300 MW in solar energy, and entered the Australian renewables market through a joint venture with UPC Renewables, which has both solar and wind projects in the pipeline. “We expect to build on this momentum and add more projects in the future,” Francia says.