AC Energy to invest $10 million in overseas solar projects


AC Energy Corp. (ACEN), through its subsidiary AC Renewables International (ACRI), will pour $10 million in fresh funds into international solar rooftop projects that it will develop with its partner, NEFIN Holding Limited (NEFIN).

ACEN has sought board approval to partner with the leading solar photovoltaic developer and investor in carbon neutrality solutions. ACEN and Hong Kong-based NEFIN will establish a 50-50 joint venture holding company that will develop, construct, and operate rooftop solar projects across Asia.

“ACRI’s investment into the joint venture vehicle will be via a primary infusion of an initial $10 million of fresh funds which will be used to construct near-term projects over the coming years. ACRI will also commit to further expand its funding for the development and construction of the rest of the joint venture’s carbon neutrality pipeline,” ACEN said.

The joint venture will own 21megawatts (MW) of operating assets and has a robust near-term project pipeline.

NEFIN, as an expert in rooftop solar PV system engineering and management, has collectively delivered over 300 MW of utility-scale, commercial, and industrial solar PV systems for itself and its clients.

ACEN, meanwhile, is one of the highest renewables share capacities in Southeast Asia after pivoting to a lower carbon portfolio by developing more renewable energy projects, and a planned divestment of coal assets. It intends to be the largest listed renewables platform in Southeast Asia, and is on track to achieve its goal of reaching 5,000MW of renewables capacity by 2025.

“The partnership between ACEN and NEFIN is a natural fit, with both businesses anchored on sustainability and with growing renewable energy capacity,” said the power arm of conglomerate Ayala Corp.

DBS Bank Ltd. is the sole financial advisor for NEFIN for this transaction.

Meanwhile, ACEN also sought board approval to reallocate P900 million of the P5.4-billion proceeds of the stock rights offering (SRO) held last January to partially finance its investment in Greencore 3 Power Solutions, Inc. for a 75-MW plant in Arayat and Mexico, Pampanga.

The amount was originally allocated to finance its investment in the 160MW Balaoi wind project; investment into a renewable energy laboratory; funding of up to $100 million for new technology investments in the country; and finance its investment in Giga Ace 8 Inc. for the 75MW Palauig solar plant in Zambales, with a target to increase to 130MW.

Board approval was also given to reallocate P6.17 billion of the P13-billion follow on offering (FOO) proceeds to partially finance its investment in Santa Cruz Solar Energy Inc. for a 250MW plant in San Marcelino, Zambales worth P5.37 billion and for land acquisition worth P800 million.

The amount was originally allocated to partially finance its investment in Giga Ace 8 for the Palauig Solar Project, repayment of loans and reduction of payables, and new technology investments.

The board also approved an additional $150-million credit line from banks; up to $80-million investment into the NEFIN Group; and the 250 MW GIGASOL San Marcelino Solar project.

In January, it completed the SRO where it sold a total of 2.27 billion common shares at P2.37 apiece for a total of nearly P5.4 billion. Last May, ACEN raised P13 billion from its FOO, its third and final fundraising activity this year.

This brings the total fresh capital raised by AC Energy to P27 billion, which will be used to bankroll its 5,000-megawatt (MW) renewable energy development by 2025. Its renewable energy portfolio is set to reach 2,500 MW within the year, already in the halfway mark of its target.

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