AC Energy eyeing financial closing accords for RE projects worth $1 billion

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AC Energy Inc., the power arm of conglomerate Ayala Corp., is eyeing to sign financial closing agreements for renewable power projects worth $1 billion over the next 12-18 months.

These power projects have a total capacity of about 800 megawatts (MW). These are located in Australia, Vietnam and in the Philippines.

“In Australia, we are hoping to get financial close for the first half of our 700-MW solar project, so call it 350 MW. For Vietnam, I think we are hoping to do another, probably around 400 to 500 MW of wind. We are also hoping to do in the Philippines over 100 MW of solar. All in all, that’s about 800 MW that we’re hoping to reach financial close in the next 12 to 18 months across these three markets,” said AC Energy President Eric Francia.

Of the estimated $1-billion project cost, Francia said the debt component could reach over $600 million to $700 million. “Not all of that is equity, there’s debt too. Approximately, debt is over $600 million to $700 million and equity is $300 [million]to $400 million. A lot of the equity from the green bond can go there,” said Francia.

He said $410 million worth of green bonds were raised. AC Energy said its green bond framework sets out well-defined guidelines for the use of proceeds for renewable-energy projects, with comprehensive monitoring and reporting commitments. 

 “Once we are successful in deploying that, I can argue that it would be the primary use of the green bonds. Those 800 MW will basically account for majority, if not all the green bond usage. The green bond can also finance some of the past green projects,” he said. 

AC Energy has acquired a 50-percent stake in UPC Renewables Australia, which is developing the 1,000-MW Robbins Island and Jims Plain wind projects in North West Tasmania and the 600-MW New England Solar Farm located near Uralla in New South Wales.

The Australian firm also has a pipeline of 3,000-MW renewable-energy project developments located in New South Wales, Tasmania and Victoria. The overseas investment reached $230 million. Of this, $30 million was allocated for the 50-percent stake, while the remaining $200 million will be used to fund project equity. AC Energy has also formed partnerships abroad to develop wind power projects in Vietnam.

In November last year, it acquired a 25-percent stake in Blue Circle Pte. Ltd., a Singapore-based wind developer. They will jointly develop, construct, own and operate the latter’s pipeline of around 1,500 MW of wind projects across Southeast Asia, primarily Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Cambodia.

They will initially start with 100 MW to 200 MW of wind projects in Vietnam where Blue Circle has 700 MW of wind power projects there.

AC Energy also formed a platform company with AMI Renewables in 2017 to build renewable-energy plants in Vietnam, including the 352-MW Quang Binh wind project.