ACEN seals AU$140-M loan for Australia projects

Published September 20, 2022, 3:10 PM

by Myrna M. Velasco

The Australian subsidiary of Ayala-led ACEN Corporation has executed a loan agreement for 140 million Australian dollars (AU$) credit facility with MUFG Bank-Sydney Branch, to partly bankroll its renewable energy (RE) projects in that offshore market.

According to the Ayala firm, that is already the second credit window it availed of from the Australian capital market – the first one of which was a $100 million loan facility with the DBS Bank which was signed last month.

ACEN Australia indicated that the recent loan procurements essentially beefed up the company’s ‘green loan’ access; as it targets to raise as much as much as AU$600 million for its RE ventures in that investment domain.

For the new loan it secured from MUFG, ACEN noted that this forms part of “ACEN’s strategic aspiration to grow its renewables capacity to 20 GW by 2030.” MUFG served as the sole arranger and green loan coordinator for that long-term loan credit facility.

As emphasized by Manoj S. Bhatia, global head of subsidiary banking at MUFG, “ACEN’s aspiration towards becoming a leading renewable energy provider in Asia is aligned with MUFG’s sustainability mission.”

The bank added that it “has been steadfast in leveraging its unrivalled global network and its expertise in financing the renewable energy sector.”

A key project of the Ayala group in the Australian energy market is its blueprinted 720-megawatt-ac New England solar farm development in New South Wales, which will be integrated with a battery energy storage system.

As designed, the solar farm installation will be implemented in two phases – with the initial 400MW ac due for commercial commissioning next year; and the completion of the next phase has been planned subsequently.

It is not just in Australia that the Ayala energy investment company has been expanding aggressively. It has also been pursuing massive-scale RE ventures in Vietnam, India as well as in the Philippines; and has been exploring targeted wind farm ventures in the United States.

From its initial goal of 5,000MW RE capacities by year 2025; ACEN had just recently built up its investment pipeline to 20,000MW that it plans to concretize into tangible operating assets by 2030.

The Ayala group’s RE project-developments are generally focused on solar as well as wind farm projects, with coupling of battery storage, in its core markets in the Philippines as well as offshore jurisdictions.