Ayala partners with Leviste’s Solar Philippines

Published January 25, 2021, 1:06 PM

by Myrna M. Velasco

The board of directors of Ayala-led AC Energy Corporation (ACEN) has greenlighted the joint venture deal that the conglomerate’s energy investment arm will be cementing with Solar Philippines Power Project Holdings Inc. (SP) of millennial-businessman Leandro L. Leviste.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), the Ayala firm indicated that the tie-up will delve with “development and construction of solar projects in the Philippines.”

According to ACEN President and CEO Eric T. Francia, the focus of the targeted solar installations will be in Central Luzon, but there’s no definitive capacity yet at this point.

ACEN President and CEO Eric T. Francia

In the partnership, it was stated that ACEN will subscribe to primary as well as secondary shares of Leviste’s company; and its subsidiary firm Solar Philippines Central Luzon Corporation has been granted the authority “to participate in biddings for electricity supply.”

The Ayala firm emphasized it will also allow the sharing of credit facilities with its own subsidiary, Santa Cruz Solar Energy Inc., so this can likewise participate in auctions for electricity supply.

ACEN and Solar Philippines are equally aggressive in pursuing investments in the renewable energy sector – not just in the Philippines but in multiple offshore markets.

The Ayala energy firm has been briskly expanding its RE portfolio in various Asian investment jurisdictions – including Australia, India and key energy markets in the Southeast Asian region.

ACEN is keenly keeping its eye on the goal to become the biggest listed RE company in Southeast Asia – and by this year, it will likely be halfway already on its target for 5,000 megawatts RE capacity cast through 2025.

On Leviste’s part, it is eyeing an even bigger portfolio buildup of 10,000MW both in the Philippines and overseas — although its investment foothold at this time is still in the domestic market. By 2022, it is targeting to add 1,000MW on its solar installations, which to its estimate can provide jobs to 20,000 Filipino workers at construction phases.

Solar Philippines is similarly preparing for stock listing at the local bourse, although a timeframe for that has yet to be firmed up.

In the Leviste-owned company’s previously completed projects, it was able to attract deep-pocketed partners such as Korea Electric Power Corporation for its Calatagan solar farm; and then billionaire Enrique Razon’s Prime Metroline Infrastructure Holdings on its Tarlac solar venture.