AC Energy seeks partner for new project in Vietnam

AC Energy Holdings, Inc. is in talks with another potential partner for a possible solar power venture in Vietnam.

“There’s another partner; it’s another project. The potential could be another 300 megawatts (MW),” said AC Energy senior Vice President for External Affairs Don Mario Dia. Dia added that the partnership between the two could be sealed soon.

“It’s the permitting process that’s taking time,” he said. “The partnership will have to be concretized once permits are secured.”

AC Energy President Eric Francia confirmed. “Yes, it’s with a different partner,” he said. “It’s progressive.”

AC Energy recently partnered with the Bim Group of Vietnam to jointly develop over 300-MW of solar power projects in Vietnam’s Ninh Thuan province. Francia said a capital expenditure of around $1 million is needed to build 1MW of solar capacity.

AC Energy and BIM are starting with an initial phase of 30 MW, which broke ground last January 23. Investment for this phase is expected to reach 800 billion dong, or roughly P1.8 billion, and expected completed within the year.

Last year Francia said the company eyed Vietnam because “the population, the growth potential, the market size, supply-demand outlook is similar to what we have here in the Philippines.”

“Indonesia is much larger in magnitude because of population. But you have those elements of growth and size, and the infrastructure, supply gap,” he said adding that Vietnam is offering an attractive solar feed-in-tariff (FIT) rate of 9.35US cents per kilowatt hour.

The move to develop renewable energy projects overseas is in line with AC Energy’s plan to grow its presence in Southeast Asian markets. With more than $1 billion of invested and committed capital, the company is positioned to exceed 2,000 MW of attributable generation capacity and scale up its renewable energy portfolio to over 1,000 MW by 2020.

At end-2017, its attributable capacity has reached 1,600MW.

For this year, AC Energy is expecting to increase its capacity to 1,800 MW.

“Based on what is visible now, maybe we can get around 1,800MW of attributable capacity of which 500 MW is renewable energy. Whether we can reach or exceed 2,000MW is still a question mark,” Francia said. “We’re certainly trying. We’re very close. We could be one or two years ahead.”

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