By Myrna M. Velasco
The energy investment unit of Ayala Corporation has slightly increased its equity acquisition in Australian renewable energy firm Infigen Energy Ltd.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Ayala-owned AC Energy Inc., in partnership with Hong Kong-based UPC Renewables, had hiked their direct and indirect ownership in the Australian company to 13.40-percent from the level of 12.82-percent sealed on June 2 this year.
Relative to the equity take, their joint venture firm UAC Energy Holdings Pty. Ltd. lodged with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) a bidder’s statement mainly anchored on the proposed “off-market takeover bid for all the stapled securities in Infigen.”
Infigen has about 670 megawatts of wind farm portfolio sited in various parts of Australia; in tandem with other technologies like gas, battery storage and contracted assets.
On UAC Energy’s tender offer move in Infigen, the Ayala firm indicated that such shall be “subject to the acceptance of any selling Infigen security holders,” and the process could take some months to complete.
Australia is one key market that the Ayala firm has been targeting for giga-scale installations, given the very robust promotion of renewable energy developments in that jurisdiction.
The partnership of AC Energy and UPC Renewables is similarly aggressive on their quest for investment expansions – not just in Australia, but also other markets in Asia such as Vietnam, Taiwan, South Korea and India.
The latest project installations being advanced by the joint venture are two wind farm projects in southern Vietnam that could potentially yield 60 megawatts of capacity.
For the energy investment unit of the Ayala group per se, it is targeting to reach attributable capacity of 5,000 megawatts by year 2025 – and that shall be ushered in by project developments both in the Philippines and offshore markets.
The Philippine projects will be a combination of solar and wind farm developments; as well as a diesel-fired power facility that could help meet the country’s need for additional peaking capacity.
A peaking plant is a facility that the grid operator can call on for dispatch when electricity demand surges to peak levels – and that is generally served by diesel-fired power generating assets.