AboitizPower to come up with own Net Zero plan in 6 months

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Aboitiz Power Corporation, the country’s largest power generator, said it plans to come up with its own strategy for net zero greenhouse gas emissions within the next six months.

At an online briefing on Thursday night, AboitizPower President and CEO Emmanuel Rubio said the company’s Net Zero plan must be something that should be “achievable” and “something we can deliver.”

He emphasized the need to develop a “realistic” and “pragmatic” transition policy, pointing out that Europe’s transition away from coal power generation went “too fast,” ending up in a sudden increase in thermal plants.

While AboitizPower believes in a decarbonized future, Rubio said “[it’s] important to understand what Net Zero is.”

Rubio made the pronouncement amid increasing calls for Net Zero and with the ongoing United Nations Climate Change Conference, or the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) in the United Kingdom. The Ayala group, including power arm AC Energy, also recently announced its Net Zero plans.

The World Economic Forum generally defines Net Zero as the offsetting of any human-induced carbon dioxide (CO2) emission into the atmosphere by planting trees or installing carbon capture technologies. Net Zero also entails that human-made CO2 emissions must go down to 45% by 2030.

Rubio added that AboitizPower looks forward to the buying out of coal plants and the provision of cheaper financing to replace them.

This comes as the Asian Development Bank, the Philippines, and Indonesia launched at COP26 a partnership for the energy transition mechanism (ETM), which intends to buy out coal facilities and eventually replacing them with renewable energy (RE) capacity. The Philippine government has stated its intention to buy out old coal plants in Mindanao via the ETM, while AC Energy has already laid out plans to use the mechanism to eventually give up its coal plant in Batangas.

AboitizPower also plans to offer green bonds and sustainability bonds to fund its renewable energy (RE) projects.

“We are not doing it for face value. We’d like to do green bonds because we like using that money to grow our extensive pipeline that Manny [Rubio] and the team have put together,” said Manuel Lozano, CFO of AboitizPower parent firm Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV).

AboitizPower previously said it will be investing Php190 billion in a bid to up its RE assets to half of its power generation portfolio by 2030. Last September, AEV announced that Japanese firm JERA would buy 27% of AboitizPower for joint RE and liquefied natural gas ventures.

AboitizPower currently has 4,973 megawatts (MW) in generating capacity nationwide, based on the 37th Status Report on EPIRA Implementation released by the Department of Energy. Coal comprises majority of the company’s assets. Rubio hopes that the firm’s latest addition, the 668MW Unit 1 of the GNPower Dinginin coal plant in Mariveles, Bataan, would go on full commercial operation before the year ends.