AC Energy to finalize sale of thermal-energy business this year

By Lenie Lectura – July 31, 2018
from Business Mirror

AC Energy Inc. is determined to finalize within the year the planned sale of its thermal-energy assets.

“We are still in the middle of the process, but we expect to finalize our decision within the year,” AC Energy President Eric Francia said.

He said the power unit of conglomerate Ayala Corp. is in talks with “both international and local partners” that could be interested in taking a stake in the power firm. He declined to elaborate.

When asked how many firms are interested, Francia said, “There’s a good number of interest we are assessing. I am confident we will arrive at a decision even if we are at the assessment stage. We still have time to decide and sign an agreement within the year. But we don’t want to rush into it because there’s a lot of nuisance in the process. The objective is to decide and sign something within the year.”

Earlier, San Miguel Corp. (SMC) and Aboitiz Power Corp. said they would look into the thermal-energy assets that are up for sale.

AC Energy’s entire power-generation portfolio of 1,600 megawatts (MW) carries an estimated value of $2.6 billion, investment group CLSA Ltd. said. Of the $2.6 billion, thermal assets comprise 80 percent, or $2 billion.

Its thermal assets include the 668-MW GN Power Dinginin Ltd. Co. coal plant in Bataan; the 604-MW GNPower Mariveles; the 2×135-MW coal-fired power plant in Calaca, Batangas, under South Luzon Thermal Energy Corp.; and the 4×135-MW coal-fired power plant in Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte in Mindanao through GN Power Kauswagan Ltd. Co.

By 2025 the company expects to expand its overall energy capacity to more than 5,000 MW from 1,600 MW currently.  Its energy mix includes 1,300 MW in thermal energy and 300 MW in renewable energy (RE).

“I would expect around 70 percent of our RE target of 1,000 MW to be international and 30 percent local. In the next few weeks, we expect to reach financial close for solar in Vietnam,” he added.

AC Energy has partnered with the BIM Group to jointly develop over 300 MW of solar-power projects in Ninh Thuan province, Vietnam.

Also in Vietnam, AC Energy and the delegation of Quang Binh province earlier signed a memorandum of understanding to develop the 325-MW B&T wind farm in Quang Binh province with a total investment of $493 million.

The project will be started with an initial phase of 252  MW with a cost of $353 million.

In Indonesia the 75-MW Sidrap wind farm of AC Energy and UPC Renewables Indonesia Ltd. went online in March. Also, 637 MW of steam and power from the Darajat and Salak geothermal fields in West Java is being operated by a joint venture that includes AC Energy as part of the company’s acquisition of Chevron Indonesia’s assets.

In Australia AC Energy announced an investment of $230 million to acquire a 50-percent stake in the Australian business of UPC Renewables. Also, AC Energy will provide a $200-million facility to fund project equity.

Both are developing the 1,000-MW Robbins Island and Jims Plain projects in North West Tasmania, and the 600-MW New England Solar Farm near Uralla in New South Wales.