AC Energy keeps focus on Indonesia, Vietnam

By on September 18, 2017

AC ENERGY Holdings, Inc. is focusing on Indonesia and Vietnam for its regional expansion in line with its thrust to boost its renewable energy portfolio, BusinessWorld reported Sept. 11.

AC Energy President and CEO Eric T. Francia said in an interview the subsidiary of Ayala Corp. prefers to develop greenfield renewable energy projects in the region, but remains open to potential investments in conventional energy.

“We’re hoping for something concrete, but it’s going to take another six months or so,” Mr. Francia said.

Ayala is expanding its partnership with UPC Renewables in Indonesia, while it is in talks with local partners in Vietnam.

“Vietnam and Indonesia are just starting in solar and wind and we have a lot of experience in that,” Mr. Francia said.

By 2020, AC Energy aims to reach 2,000 megawatts (MW) of attributable capacity — or the equivalent in megawatts of its economic stake in various projects — of which 1,000 MW is targeted to be renewables. It reached 1,000 MW in 2016, with renewable energy accounting for less than 10%.

Its 19.8% stake in the 637-MW geothermal steam and power capacity in Darajat and Salak geothermal fields along with its 75% stake in the 75-MW wind farm project in Sidrap more than doubled the company’s clean energy capacity to at least 264 MW. 

Last July, AC Energy entered into a development funding arrangement with UPC Renewables Asia Pacific Holdings Ltd. and UPC Renewables Asia I Ltd. for the development of small island power projects in Indonesia.

“We want to invest in more renewables because that’s the emerging technology. In the Philippines, everyone’s still waiting for the renewable portfolio standards (RPS),” Mr. Francia said, referring to the long-delayed rules that will require distribution utilities and other industry participants to source a portion of their power supply from eligible renewable energy resources.

Wala nang (feed-in tariff). The next underlying mechanism to promote renewable energy is RPS but we’re still waiting,” he said.

In the Philippines, AC Energy has a 20% stake in the 632-MW GNPower Mariveles Coal Plant Ltd. Co.; 50% in the 668-MW GNPower Dinginin Ltd. Co.; 35% in the 244-MW South Luzon Thermal Energy Corp.; and 85% in the 552-MW GNPower Kauswagan Ltd. Co.

“We still have expansion potential for one of our GN assets,” Mr. Francia said.

AC Energy is open to acquiring existing power assets in the Philippines, but the environment remains “challenging” because of depressed prices in the overall market amid an oversupply situation.

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