Smarter, Greener, Future-Ready

Published October 29, 2022, 9:38 AM

by MB Business

Aboitiz InfraCapital: Building a better future with sustainable infrastructure

Infrastructure — whether roads, bridges, utilities, or hubs for transport — serve as the vital foundation of a functional society. Often thought to be purely made possible under a government’s control, infrastructure projects can also be taken on and in partnership with private companies which are committed to help in nation building.

Aboitiz InfraCapital (AIC), the infrastructure arm of the Aboitiz Group, is one such company that has a mission to invest in and undertake strategic development projects that address the needs of the community and open opportunities for inclusive and sustainable economic growth.

Fueled by the Aboitiz Group’s Great Transformation journey to become the country’s first ‘techglomerate’, AIC aims to not simply build but to drive change through purposeful and innovative infrastructure solutions in each of its four business pillars namely, economic estates, water facilities, digital infrastructure and transport and mobility.

Sustainable Estate Development

LIMA Estate, a leader in mixed-use industrial development in the Philippines, continues to be at the forefront of creating smart and sustainable economic estates. It is the first industrial estate to achieve BERDE 5-star certification from the Philippine Green Building Council.

AIC’s expertise in developing smart, sustainable and thriving ecosystems is clearly manifested in how expertly developed its Economic Estates are.The Economic Estates are located in the Luzon and Visayas regions namely – LIMA Estate: an 800-hectare Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) registered economic zone in Lipa, Batangas; West Cebu Estate in Balamban, Cebu; and MEZ2 Estate (Mactan Economic Zone 2) in Lapu-Lapu City. All are envisioned to be smart, next-generation, future-ready economic centers that will draw more businesses and green development into the region.

LIMA is the first industrial estate park to achieve the pilot BERDE (Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence) District Certification with a 5-star rating — the highest rating the Philippine Green Building Council awards to developments. LIMA’s 30-hectare Central Business District (CBD) houses commercial outlets such as The Outlets at Lipa, LIMA Exchange, LIMA Park Hotel, and LIMA Transport Hub. The jewel of the CBD which is for completion by 2024 is the LIMA Tower One, the first of seven multi-storey office buildings to be built and also designed for BERDE certification. As part of its transformational strategy, AIC Economic Estates is focused on expanding its footprint in Batangas and Cebu, which will further cement its leadership in industrial-anchored and mixed-use development. Currently, it has the largest nationwide footprint and employs over 100,000 Filipinos.

“Our best-in-class estate development and operations prompt us to sustain, develop and implement initiatives and projects founded on innovation and sustainability. We are excited to expand our footprint further and introduce new product lines, smart city features, and sustainability programs that will reinforce our numerous commitments as a good corporate citizen,” said Rafael Fernandez de Mesa, AIC Economic Estates Head and President of LIMA Land and Cebu Industrial Park Developers, Inc.

Providing access to safe and reliable water

Apo Agua is building the Davao City Bulk Water Project which will tap the Tamugan River as a surface water source and utilize 100% renewable energy-run water treatment facility to provide safe and sustainable drinking water for Davaoenos.

AIC’s commitment to sustainability also takes the forefront when it comes to providing essential services such as access to clean and quality drinking water. The goal is to ensure they continue to operate sustainably as well, thanks to its various water treatment and management facilities.

In the LIMA Estate in Batangas, LIMA Water Corporation delivers end-to-end water and wastewater services, and is the first DENR- accredited industrial park water provider.

 It is nearing completion of its Smart Water Network, wherein their water facilities are interconnected and artificially intelligent. This will lead to better operational efficiency and savings, as well as more responsible use of natural resources, aligning with the Group’s sustainability objectives.

Further south, AIC also operates Apo Agua Infrastructura, Inc. (which services the Davao City Water District) and Estate Water (which services MEZ2 and West Cebu Estate).

Apo Agua is constructing the Davao City Bulk Water Supply Project (DCBWSP) that will involve tapping the Tamugan River as its surface water source. Eyed to be completed by the first quarter of 2023, the DCBWSP is expected to provide 300 million liters of safe drinking water daily to over a million Davao City residents. This state-of-the-art facility is designed using the”water-energy nexus” concept — a first in Southeast Asia — that will run on renewable energy through a built-in hydroelectric power plant. By drawing power from the very water it supplies, Apo Agua will operate in a sustainable and self-sufficient manner.

“With a growing population that is placing greater stress on already scarce water resources, innovation in water supply management is essential. “We are proud to note that Aboitiz InfraCapital is at the forefront of implementing sustainable solutions to ensure access to safe and reliable water,” AIC Water Business head and Apo Agua President Anna Lu said.

Revitalizing Tourism

AIC will leverage on Data Science and Artificial Intelligence of Aboitiz Data Innovation to tech up operations and enhance the airport passenger experience at the Mactan Cebu International Airport.

Another way AIC hopes to refuel economic growth is by focusing on regional airports. Not only does this decongest the major airport in Manila, it also opens up regional locations to international tourism and business.

Late September this year, AIC entered into a landmark deal with Megawide Construction Corporation (Megawide) and GMR Airports International, B.V. (GAIBV) allowing AIC to acquire shares in GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC), the developer and operator of the award winning Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA).

 The goal is to propel MCIA to the next level and establish its status as one of the Philippines’ premier international airports.

 With Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (DSAI) expertise provided by Aboitiz Data Innovation (ADI), AIMS aims to tech-up and further  improve the airport’s operations by using big data.

“Part of the larger Aboitiz Group’s push to transform into a Techglomerate is to infuse and leverage the group’s relationships and assets as well as utilizing DSAI to improve and level up the passenger experience and help boost tourism in our country,” said AIC President and CEO Cosette Canilao.

Boosting PH’s digital infrastructure

Given the Philippines’ ranking as among the countries with the slowest and least stable Internet, upgrading the country’s digital infrastructure has been identified as one of the priority programs of the government.AIC formed has been heeding this call with strategic investments in partnership. Last year, it formed a joint venture with leading global private markets firm, Partners Group, to establish Unity Digital Infrastructure.

Through Unity, AIC and Partners Group are building and operating shareable telecom towers and supporting infrastructure across the country. This will help improve the country’s internet connectivity in local communities by increasing the number of cell sites of mobile network operators.

In October, AIC also announced a strategic partnership with EdgeConneX, a pioneer in global hyperlocal to hyperscale data center solutions based in the United States. The joint venture will address the rising data usage in the Philippines by developing an advanced data center platform to house cloud service providers’ IT equipment, enabling them to better support the Philippine market.

A partner for the long haul

True to its brand promise of enabling businesses and uplifting communities, AIC hopes to improve people’s lives for the long haul. Smart, sustainable, integrated infrastructure is not a pipe dream. Through AIC, it’s an achievable reality.

 
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