By Myrna M. Velasco
From an initial capacity of 30 megawatts (MW), the energy investment arm of the Ayala Corporation and its Vietnamese partner BIM Group will be scaling up their utility-scale solar capacity to 280MW in the Ninh Thuan province that will then entail capital spending of US$237 million.
On the investment size, the company noted that it will inject 50 percent economic share; while on the whole, AC Energy will have 30 percent voting stake in the project’s corporate vehicle.
“The project is estimated to cost US$237 million, which will be financed by debt and equity,” the company said. Calculated financing on the venture already included the first 30MW installation.
So far, the Ayala firm and its Vietnamese partner is already inching close to their 300MW solar capacity target.
And as noted by AC Energy President and CEO Eric T. Francia, this stirs excitement for the company “to scale up our development initiatives in Vietnam,” adding that “we expect to build on this momentum and add more projects in the future.”
Upon the completion of its 280MW plant, the Ayala firm qualified that “the solar farm will become the largest in Southeast Asia.”
The solar power project is targeted to be on commercial operations “in time for the June 2019 solar feed-in-tariff deadline,” set by the Vietnamese government.
Vietnamese firm BIM Group is a diversified company with interests in renewable energy, tourism and real estate, agriculture (food) and commercial services.
The offshore market is a flourishing investment expansion domain for the Ayala group on its energy portfolio; while also exploring parallel opportunities in the Philippines.
For Vietnam, it is setting its investment radar next on wind power developments in Quang Binh province, with another prospective partner.
The company is further pursuing aggressive expansion ventures in Indonesia as well as in the Australian market, chiefly in the renewable energy development space also.