The AC Energy Holdings Inc. is eyeing to expand its presence in Vietnam, its second regional investment following Indonesia.
The company is also studying market opportunities in Southeast Asia, AC Energy president Eric Francia said.
“While it may take time to strengthen our presence in Indonesia, we have started to look around the Southeast Asia region and we hope to make our second regional investment in about 12 to 18 months,” he said.
The AC Energy official said that investment opportunities are blooming in Vietnam as it has a similar macroeconomic picture with Indonesia and the Philippines.
“The population, the growth potential, the market size, supply-demand outlook—frankly it’s similar to what we have here in the Philippines. Indonesia – it’s much larger in magnitude because of population. But you have those elements of growth and size, and the infrastructure, supply gap,” Francia said.
The Ayala – owned company is now looking for a local partner and possible technologies to invest in.
“The partner has to be a good local partner with values that are aligned, local capabilities, a good pipeline of projects. We’re flexible in terms of technology. It could be renewable energy, gas, coal or it could be a combination,” Francia said.
He added that he prefers to have a small mid-size partner “where we can be a more meaningful partner as opposed to a very large platform where we are a financial minority investor.”
Meanwhile, AC Energy is also opportunistic in other markets like in Myanmar.
“In terms of being systematic, putting our limited resources to work outside the Philippines, it’s really Indonesia first and number two is Vietnam. The rest, it will be opportunistic,” Francia said.
The overseas expansion is a part of the company’s transformation from Philippine – focused energy investment holding firm in becoming a regional energy platform with investment, development, operations, and retail capacity.
“AC Energy is at a critical inflection point. Our transformation is enabled by rapid organic growth and key strategic acquisitions,” Francia stressed.
The Ayala Group’s presence can already be felt in Vietnam through the Manila Water Co. under local units Thu Duc Water and Kenh Dong Water as well as Ho Chi Minh City Infrastructure Investment Joint Stock Co. (CII).