By Myrna M. Velasco
The energy investment arm of the Ayala group has firmed up three new power projects to be installed in the Philippines next year that will then beef up its capacity by 330 megawatts.
These are the 120-megawatt solar plant venture in Alaminos, Laguna; 60MW solar facility installation in Palauig, Zambales and the 150-megawatt first unit diesel-fired power plant project in Pililla, Rizal.
“We already announced those approvals and we expect to start construction soon – in the next few weeks,” AC Energy President Eric T. Francia said; emphasizing that final investment decision (FID) had been reached and the financing for these projects have already been secured.
The company chief executive added “we are going to issue the notice to proceed very soon, but we’ve already disclosed the Board approval for the investment in these two solar projects and one peaking project in Pililla, Rizal.”
The diesel-fed power facility had been designed to have two units and will eventually be ramped up to 300MW capacity – when the second unit of 150MW will be advanced to implementation phase. The first unit, according to Francia, is targeted to be commercially on-line by the end of next year.
AC Energy has been pursuing various projects domestically and offshore – and by far, it was noted that at least 25-percent of next year’s investment line-up will be those that are up for development in the Philippines.
For the Pililla plant in particular, Francia emphasized that it will take at least a year to complete, but construction will most likely kick off before the end of 2019.
He explained that the system impact study (SIS) for the peaking power project initially allows for 150MW development, but the overall target is to eventually increase its capacity to 300MW.
Francia similarly indicated that from the 330MW that are already set to take off from blueprints next year, the bigger target that would be advanced to construction next year will be 550MW, but he is still keeping details of the other projects under wraps.
“We have a lot of projects that we’re developing,” he stressed, emphasizing that the others in the targeted portfolio shoring up “will be between solar and wind.”
By next year, the combination of investments of the company both in the Philippines and overseas will bring its attributable capacity to more than 2,000 megawatts – which is aligned with the 2020 target it previously carved.
In the Philippines, its portfolio will include the attributable capacity of 430 megawatts from its PHINMA Energy acquisition; and another 150MW of existing solar capacity from its asset swap deal.